As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on impeaching President Trump for an unprecedented second time, Republican congressmen and women have found a new target for their outrage after metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the House floor.
Several Republican lawmakers have refused to go through the detectors, which were put in place following the deadly riot last Wednesday, January 6, or simply walked past police after setting them off. One member of Congress lodged an official complaint against the new measures on the House floor, calling the move ‘an atrocity’.
Huffington Post congressional reporter Matt Fuller has chronicled several of the confrontations on Twitter, claiming that one lawmaker’s reaction to the metal detectors left a police officer ‘on the verge of tears.’
Metal detectors have long been in place at other entrances to the Capitol building, but Members of Congress have historically been exempt from going through them. The latest move comes after several Democratic House members expressed concern about fellow lawmakers on the Republican side of the floor, although Capitol Police did not confirm the exact reason for the detectors’ new location.
As an aside, Russ Fulcher was the most aggressive member pushing through the metal detectors last night.
A female officer kind of got in his way—I think inadvertently—and he really was…assertive.
The cop didn’t want to talk, but she almost seemed on the verge of tears after.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 13, 2021
At least two House Republicans have confirmed being armed while in the Capitol building. In a tweet last night, Lauren Boebert, known as the ‘QAnon Congresswoman,’ said she was ‘legally permitted to carry [her] firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex,’ and described the introduction of the metal detectors as ‘just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi’.
I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex.
Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 13, 2021
Fellow House Republican freshman Madison Cawthorn also confirmed he had been carrying a loaded weapon on the day of the Capitol attack. While registered weapons are permitted in some parts of the Capitol building, The Washington Post reports that members are not allowed to bring firearms onto the floor of the House.
I never thought I’d see this.
Metal detectors have been set up for members before they enter the House floor.
A clear indication that Democratic leadership does not trust some right-wing House members pic.twitter.com/smslr1lWP4
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) January 12, 2021
Many Democrats have pointed out that many of the Republican lawmakers have expressed greater outrage over the installation of the metal detectors than the deadly riots that made them necessary in the first place, with one Congressman tweeting ‘average people do not get to bring guns into the United States Capitol in normal times. Get over yourselves.’
Do these people not understand that literally everyone else has to go through metal detectors to get in here? Average people do not get to bring guns into the United States Capitol in normal times. Get over yourselves
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) January 13, 2021
Meanwhile, fellow Democratic House member Rashida Tlaib pointed out that metal detectors are a part of everyday life for many children in America, tweeting ‘now they know how HS students in my district feel,’ and later adding ‘y’all brought this on yourselves.’
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