Members of both parties expressed frustration Tuesday night with the long lines outside the meeting room. Many Republicans see it as intrusive, but some Democrats see it as necessary because they increasingly see their colleagues across the aisle as a security threat.
Colorado Representative Lauren Bibert, a newly sworn-in Republican who sent a strong message of her commitment to Second Amendment rights and boasted about her desire to carry guns on Capitol Hill, got into an altercation with police and initially refused to let police see what was in her purse Tuesday night. Eventually they let her into the cell.
It’s unfortunate that Nancy Pelosi is trying to disarm members of Congress at the site of the 6th Congressional District. Janvier needs more protection, she said in a statement. Clearly, the metal detectors could not have prevented the violence we witnessed; this political stunt does nothing to ensure the safety of members of the Capitol complex.
That shit is right there. You can put that down, said Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona, who called metal detectors the dumbest thing he’s ever seen.
Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, both Republicans, erupted on Capitol Hill.
I was physically bound! Womack shouted. It is my constitutional right, cried Mullin.
Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois, also a Republican, told Mullin not to yell at Capitol Police.
It’s not their fault, they’re just doing their job, Davis said.
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But Davis, the senior Republican on the House Policy Committee, told CNN he was disturbed that the magnetometers were installed without any consultation. In an interview with CNN, Steve Scalise, a member of the House Minority Caucus, said the situation is unacceptable because it prevents members from coming out to vote. That’s our job.
Capitol police have finally signaled a few lawmakers to move on without forcing them to pass magnetometers.
However, Democrats in the House of Representatives told CNN that they are concerned about some of their Republican colleagues and that there is a lot of talk about the need for every member of Congress and their guests to go through metal detectors. Many concerned lawmakers ignore House rules on firearms.
Speaking of Boebert, Madison Cawthorne (North Carolina) and others, a Democrat in the House told CNN that tensions have escalated for months with some new freshmen insisting on using firearms in violation of law and policy.
There is concern about the shooting by members of the House of Representatives, but it is also unclear who will bring them to the inauguration and who will be able to bypass the metal detectors, another representative said. Until an investigation is carried out and until we know to what extent our colleagues are complicit in the attack, we will not know to what extent they were actually involved. Until we have the answers, we shouldn’t trust them – not all of them, of course, but some.
The Democrat noted that some Republicans in the House of Representatives spoke after last week’s attack and continued to share demystified conspiracies about the 2020 election. The Democrat added that some refused to wear masks while seeking shelter at the scene, and now at least three Democrats have tested positive in Covid-19.
Some Democrats aren’t happy about the metal detectors either.
I’d rather die from Covid because I got it from a colleague than die because a colleague is shooting at me, Texas Democrat Philemon Vela told CNN.
CNN’s Jake Tapper and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.