Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued $5K metal detector fine

Greg Nash

The House Ethics Committee said Friday that Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) has been issued a $5,000 fine for failing to complete a security screening prior to entering an area preceding the House chamber this week.

The Capitol Police report documenting the fine states that on Monday, Huizenga bypassed the metal detectors stationed outside the doors to the House chamber by entering the Republican cloakroom.

A Capitol Police officer told Huizenga that he needed to be screened before entering the cloakroom. Huizenga responded that he was “just dropping off some paperwork,” according to the police document, and then returned about three minutes later.

Huizenga is appealing the fine to the House Ethics Committee, according to his spokesman, who said that the report “contains inaccuracies” and noted that he has gone through the metal detectors each time he has entered the House floor.

“This is the sad state of Speaker Pelosi’s House and it continues to create mistrust between members of Congress,” Huizenga spokesman Brian Patrick said.

Huizenga is now the sixth House Republican issued a $5,000 fine for allegedly declining to complete a security screening before entering the House chamber this year.

The security screenings began in the days after the Jan. 6 insurrection, which prompted the installation of the metal detectors outside each door to the House floor as Democratic leaders felt they could no longer trust Republicans to abide by rules prohibiting weapons in the chamber.

Their fears were confirmed after police found a concealed gun on Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) as he underwent a screening to enter the House floor in late January.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) also acknowledged in a February interview with the Washington Free Beacon that “historically speaking, a number of members that carried just kind of didn’t really acknowledge or follow that rule” prohibiting guns on the House floor.

House Democrats established the fines — $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for a second one — to enforce the screenings after several Republicans refused to cooperate and tried to evade the metal detectors, at times pushing their way around Capitol Police officers to reach the floor to vote.

To date, the House Ethics Committee has upheld fines against three House Republicans who filed appeals against fines related to security screening compliance: Reps. Louie Gohmert (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.) and Lloyd Smucker (Pa.).

Gohmert and Clyde filed a lawsuit in June challenging the constitutionality of the fines.

But three other lawmakers have successfully convinced the House Ethics Committee to dismiss their fines: House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Reps. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).

Democrats also established fines earlier this year to enforce rules requiring everyone in the House chamber to wear a mask due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fines for violating the mask rules are $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second.

The House Ethics Committee has upheld mask fines against six GOP lawmakers to date: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Brian Mast (Fla.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa).

House Republicans have largely abided by the mask rules while in the House chamber due to the threat of fines that specifically pertain to the place where lawmakers vote.

But earlier this week, most Republicans and their staff declined to wear masks while in the halls of the Capitol complex outside of the House chamber, even though the Capitol physician reinstated a mask mandate last month due to the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.

Tags Andrew Clyde Andy Harris Bill Huizenga Brian Mast Chip Roy Hal Rogers Lloyd Smucker Louie Gohmert Marjorie Taylor Greene Nancy Pelosi Ralph Norman Thomas Massie Virginia Foxx

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video