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Image: U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) goes through a new metal detector to enter the House floor in Washington
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., goes through a new metal detector at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 12, 2021.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Despite recent violence, GOP balks at new Capitol metal detectors

Quite a few House Republicans have expressed anger and frustration, not about impeachment, but about new metal detectors.


Quite a few House Republicans expressed anger and frustration last night, but it wasn't because Donald Trump incited a deadly insurrectionist attack on the Capitol. It wasn't even because House Democrats intend to hold him accountable by impeaching him.

They were outraged by the installation of new metal detectors, placed just outside the door to enter the House chamber's floor.

Several Republican members of Congress on Tuesday complained about — or outright bypassed — the metal detectors to enter the House floor, which were ordered put in place by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after last week's deadly riot at the Capitol.... Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve Stivers of Ohio, Van Taylor of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Debbie Lesko of Arizona and Larry Bucshon of Indiana, among others, were seen not complying with police at checkpoints or complained about the measure's implementation, according to press pool and media reports.

NBC News' report paid particular attention to Colorado's Boebert, who "vowed in a viral video to carry a gun in the Capitol," and was seen quarreling with Capitol law enforcement at the metal detector last night.

It's also worth noting that NBC News' Benjy Sarlin mentioned this morning that some House members from both parties have indicated that they're "literally scared for their safety" when it comes to Boebert, who's still in her first month as a member of Congress.

What's more, this comes against a backdrop in which Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), another new right-wing House Republican, told the Asheville Citizen Times he was armed inside the halls of the Capitol during the mob's attack.

New York's Matt Stieb contextualized matters nicely overnight:

As Congress returns to its normal rhythms in the coming weeks, it may be that these heightened security measures are not necessary, and that more effective policy measures — or Capitol Police actually listening to FBI warnings of a "war" coming their way — will be more effective than a metal detector in keeping lawmakers safe. In the interim, the outright rejection of efforts to secure the Capitol after it was overrun in a coordinated attack suggests that these lawmakers treat personal security about as seriously as they do pandemic safety. Four of the five representatives seen in a video from Wednesday smugly refusing masks as they shelter in a crowded room — Marjorie Taylor Greene, Markwayne Mullin, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs — objected to the presence of the metal detector.

Another new member, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), reportedly apologized to some Capitol Hill police last night, saying, "I am sorry some of my colleagues are being assholes."

As for this morning, as the floor debate began on impeaching Donald Trump, some GOP members were again seen circumventing the metal detectors without incident, effectively rendering the new system useless. Even members who are setting off the detector are ignoring it.