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.
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’.
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.
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.’
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.’