WASHINGTON - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced a rule change that mandates fines for members of Congress who refuse to comply with new security screenings on the House Chamber Floor.
This comes in the aftermath of the attack at the U.S. Capitol and just one day after the House sergeant at arms office issued a statement saying all members and others going into the chamber must be screened for prohibited items, including firearms, and that anyone failing to wear a mask on the House floor will be removed.
In her statement, Pelosi said House Republicans disrespected and verbally abused U.S. Capitol Police in their refusals of new security protocol. In addition, she said the House will move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who do not comply.
The fines will be directly deducted from Congress members' salaries and are $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second offense.
Rep. Jackie Speier and other democratic members of Congress pointed out that on Tuesday, some of their GOP counterparts bypassed the metal detector screenings and refused to be "wanded."
The screening requirement comes as at least one lawmaker, freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has talked openly about carrying her firearm around town and onto the Capitol grounds, which has infuriated gun-control Democrats.
"It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe," Pelosi said in her statement.
You can read House Speaker Pelosi's full statement here or below.
"On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress.
"Sadly, just days later, many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe. The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections. The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members’ salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer.
"It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe."
Associated Press contributed to this report.