The new metal detectors installed outside each door of the House chamber intended as an extra security measure in the wake of the Capitol siege caused problems on the first days for lawmakers not used to going through the screening process normally reserved for staffers, reporters, and visitors at official entrances on Capitol Hill grounds.
The metal detectors will be permanently installed at all doors to the House chamber as well as in the entrance of the press gallery. However, lines outside the metal detectors continue to grow, and emotions were tense Tuesday night.
“This is bullshit,“ House Administration Chairman Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican, told U.S. Capitol Police as he walked through the metal detectors.
Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack snapped at law enforcement manning the new metal detectors installed at one of the entrances of the chamber. “You are creating a problem you do not understand the ramifications of,” he yelled, adding that it would create chaos during votes with members coming through to vote.
“Get back!” he lashed out. “Don’t touch me.”
Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs called the new metal detectors “crap.”
“This is the stupidest thing. I have no weapon. You want to frisk me?” he said as he walked through the scanner.
The Washington Examiner witnessed one lawmaker complain that several other members walked around it and was allowed on to the floor, while others were stopped and made to go through the process.
“You’re just going to let them through?”
“The metal detector policy for the House floor is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and endangers members,” said Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, in a statement. “I did not comply tonight. I will not comply in the future.”
“I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C., and within the Capitol complex,” tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican. “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.”