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Congressman Rodney Davis among Republicans angry about U.S. House metal detectors

Congressman Rodney Davis among Republicans angry about U.S. House metal detectors

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Rodney Davis

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis speaks to a reporter Tuesday in his Decatur office. The Taylorville Republican returned to Washington, D.C., later in the day. 

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis is among Republican lawmakers who objected to new metal detectors outside the House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol.

The new safety protocol announced Tuesday from the acting sergeant-at-arms comes less than a week after a mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the White House. Five people died.

A pool report quoted Davis as telling U.S. Capitol police officers, "This is bull (expletive)." 

Speaking to Punchbowl News, he called the measure "political correctness run amok." 

"The threat is outside, not inside," he said. "Every resource used inside is one that can't be used outside."

The Pantagraph has reached out to Davis' office for comment. 

He was not the only lawmaker upset about the change. Several simply walked around the devices. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said, “You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to a vote."

Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn't clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse.

She refused to allow a search of her bag and eventually was let into the House chamber.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.

011321-blm-web-davis

Members of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team walk through the Rotunda as they and other federal police forces responded as violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. 

Scalise told CNN that the situation is "untenable" because it "impedes the ability of members to come and vote. This is our job."

Before Tuesday, members of Congress had almost free roam at the Capitol, able to bypass security screening stations at most entrances to the building.

At the House chamber, there have been Capitol Police officers and civilian door monitors but no screening stations.

The acting sergeant-at-arms, Timothy P. Blodgett, wrote to House staff: “Effective immediately, all persons, including Members, are required undergo security screening when entering the House Chamber.”

Blodgett also told lawmakers that they must wear masks during the COVID-19 crisis and that they face removal from the chamber if they fail to do so.

Pantagraph staff contributed to this report. 


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