Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) is among the first members of Congress to be punished for violating new security measures. Gohmert, along with Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), has been fined $5,000 for bypassing newly-installed metal detectors as they entered the House floor.
This is not the first time Republicans in Congress have refused to comply with Capitol security measures that were implemented in the wake of the January 6 Insurrection. Gohmert himself had previously skirted metal detectors on the way to the House floor. However, this is the first time financial penalties have been imposed.
The House voted last week to mandate fines for members who refuse to comply with the new security rules; the first offense is $5,000 and the second is $10,000. The money is deducted from the representative’s salary.
Gohmert tried to excuse his actions by claiming that he stepped out to go to the bathroom. “Unlike in the movie The Godfather, there are no toilets with tanks where one could hide a gun, so my reentry onto the House floor should have been a non-issue,” said Gohmert in a statement. Apparently, Gohmert gets his knowledge of security protocol from movies and thinks a toilet is the only place to hide a gun in a bathroom. Does he not realize bathrooms have trash cans? Or that someone could step out to “go to the bathroom” and acquire a weapon somewhere else?
Gohmert has decried the metal detectors as unconstitutional and has vowed to fight the fine. Funny enough, Gohmert and numerous other Republicans previously voted in favor of installing metal detectors in schools to stop mass shootings. The GOP only believes it’s unconstitutional when it happens to them.
Tensions have been high in Congress, where many Democrats fear that some of their Republican colleagues may be a threat to their safety. Given the contempt that Republicans like Gohmert have shown for improved security measures, that fear is hardly surprising.
Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images