Lawmakers seethe as lines form to pass through House floor metal detectors

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Lawmakers seethe as lines form to pass through House floor metal detectors

House GOP lawmakers spoke out Tuesday night against a security policy requiring members to pass through metal detectors before they entered the cha

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House GOP lawmakers spoke out Tuesday night against a security policy requiring members to pass through metal detectors before they entered the chamber to vote on a resolution calling for President Trump’s removal for his role in last week’s Capitol riot.

Long lines formed outside the House chamber as members waited to pass through the detectors. Several Republicans refused to comply with the procedure, while others complained to Capitol security and House Democrats that the security measures were instituted without adequate notice or consultation.

In one heated encounter, House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., exchanged harsh words with Capitol Police as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Davis grew angry after security barred access to a staircase near the speaker’s lobby that is typically open to members.

Metal detectors for lawmakers are installed in the corridor around the House of Representatives chamber after a mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

Metal detectors for lawmakers are installed in the corridor around the House of Representatives chamber after a mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.
((AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite))

“Steny, this is bulls—,” Davis said.

“Rodney, we’re all going through the magnetometers. All of us,” Hoyer said in response as Davis argued with the officer.

Davis said the security measures were “taking resources completely away from where it needs to be,” adding that Democrats “did it without any consultation with the minority.”

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Tx., was one of the House Republicans who chose not to pass through the metal detectors.

“The metal detector policy for the House floor is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and endangers members,” Roy said in a statement on the incident. “I did not comply tonight. I will not comply in the future.”

Timothy P. Blodgett, the House’s acting sergeant at arms, informed lawmakers about the added security measures on Tuesday afternoon. Aside from the installation of metal detectors, Blodgett warned in a memo that firearms were banned within the House chamber.

Earlier in the day, Davis described the measures as “political correctness run amok.”

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“The threat is outside, not inside. Every resource used inside is one that can’t be used outside,” he said in a statement.

House members are expected to vote late Tuesday night on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. In a letter to Pelosi, Pence said that he does not intend to move forward with the resolution even if it passes.

Top Democrats said they would begin impeachment proceedings if Pence refused. Several Republicans have signaled they would support Trump’s impeachment prior to the end of his term on Jan. 20.

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