Two GOP lawmakers filed a lawsuit against the “unjust and unconstitutional” fines House Speaker Nancy Pelosi imposed on them for going around the metal detectors leading onto the House floor. Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., argue the fines — which are $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses — are targeting Republicans. They claim the delays from going through the metal detectors have prevented them from voting on behalf of their constituents.
Gohmert told The Federalist the issue is not the metal detectors themselves, but rather the idea that a member of Congress would somehow become a threat between the time he passes through the first set of detectors and when he arrive at the ones by the floor entrance.
“We’re not averse to going through metal detectors — we do it to get on airplanes constantly and just to get up here — but to then have a second layer of metal detectors around the house floor would indicate that she [Pelosi] believes that members of Congress are threats to other members,” Gohmert said.
The representatives argue there has been no reason to believe the lawmakers are a threat to one another. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman has “made very clear that there was no intelligence from any source that any member of Congress was a threat to another member, and she verified that a second time,” according to Gohmert. “That makes it very clear that there is no need for metal detectors around the House Floor.”
Clyde said the move is one of many Pelosi has arbitrarily enacted since the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. “I think that one of the other intents of the speaker is to gain improper influence over we Republicans, and to further her false political narrative that, and I’m going to quote her now, ‘The enemy is within the House of Representatives,’” Clyde said. “She wants to make us look like domestic terrorists by adding magnetometers as if we’re a threat to each other, which is completely false.”
The representatives said they have missed important votes because Pelosi has stopped the vote before they were able to get through the metal detectors. They argued the House speaker’s fines are wildly unconstitutional, citing Article I, Section VI of the Constitution, which forbids detainment of members on their way to the House Chamber, as well as Amendment 27, which states that no member’s salary can be withheld or amended during the same session.
Both congressmen shared other grievances with the House speaker’s actions, including gating off the entire Capitol while claiming walls don’t work on the southern border, as well as monitoring who representatives meet with inside the Capitol.
“We’re going to fight, and we’re going to win this,” Clyde said. “We filed a lawsuit yesterday, and we are going to prevail.”