GOP lawmaker fined $5,000 for failing to complete House security screening

Rep. Jim BairdJames BairdGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Honoring service before self MORE (R-Ind.) has been fined $5,000 for allegedly failing to complete a security screening prior to entering the House chamber last week, the House Ethics Committee disclosed on Monday.

According to a Capitol Police memo documenting the Nov. 17 incident, Baird "walked around the magnetometer" at a security checkpoint outside the House chamber. A Capitol Police officer stated that he tried to get Baird's attention by placing his hand on his elbow and told him he needed to go through a security screening before going on the House floor.

Baird allegedly "made eye contact" with the officer, but "proceeded to enter the House floor."

Baird can appeal the fine within 30 days after receiving the notification from the House sergeant-at-arms. A spokesperson for Baird said Tuesday that he will appeal the fine and “believes this is a misunderstanding that he looks forward to resolving with the Ethics Committee.”

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Baird, a Vietnam War veteran, lost his left arm while serving in combat and has a prosthetic limb. Capitol Police officers typically use handheld metal detector wands to accommodate anyone who sets off one of the full-sized magnetometers.

House Democrats enacted the fines — which start at $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses — to enforce compliance with the screenings established after the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Several GOP lawmakers initially defied Capitol Police officers' instructions and refused to go through the magnetometers prior to entering the House chamber.

While all staff and visitors must go through magnetometers before entering the Capitol and surrounding office buildings, members of Congress have traditionally been exempt from the screenings. And aside from the magnetometers currently outside the House chamber, lawmakers are otherwise still exempt from security screenings elsewhere in the Capitol complex.

But Democrats began requiring all lawmakers to undergo the screenings after Jan. 6 to enforce longstanding rules prohibiting anyone from bringing weapons into the House chamber.

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Members of Congress are allowed to store guns in their offices or transport them — unloaded and securely wrapped — elsewhere on the Capitol grounds. Congressional staff and visitors, meanwhile, are prohibited from carrying guns in the complex at all times.

Democrats' fears were confirmed when Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening Georgia Republicans advance map that aims to pick up House seat in redistricting The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay MORE (R-Md.) nearly brought a concealed gun into the House chamber in late January, which was only caught because he underwent a metal detector screening.

Two Republicans who were issued fines earlier this year for failing to comply with the security screenings, Reps. Andrew Clyde (Ga.) and Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertJan. 6 organizers used burner phones to communicate with White House: report Gohmert launches official run for Texas attorney general GOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening MORE (Texas), filed a lawsuit in June to challenge the constitutionality of the penalties.

Other lawmakers who have been fined over the security screenings include House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Reps. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening Greene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine MORE (R-Ky.), Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening Former GOP Rep. Mark Walker fielding calls about dropping NC Senate bid, running for House Overnight Health Care — Biden unveils January vaccine deadline MORE (R-N.C.), Lloyd SmuckerLloyd Kenneth SmuckerGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine Ethics panel dismisses GOP lawmaker's ,000 metal detector fine MORE (R-Pa.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawGOP lawmaker fined ,000 for failing to complete House security screening Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — US joins pledge to end overseas fossil funding GOP lawmakers prepare for Glasgow trip MORE (R-Texas). But many of those lawmakers managed to successfully appeal the fines.

The House Ethics Committee ultimately agreed to dismiss the fines against Clyburn, Rogers, Huizenga, Crenshaw and Foxx. But it has upheld the ones against Gohmert, Clyde and Smucker.

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Democrats have also established fines to enforce rules requiring lawmakers to wear masks on the House floor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those fines start at $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses.

Several House GOP lawmakers have been fined for not wearing a mask, including a group that staged a protest during the brief period over the summer when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially said that people vaccinated against COVID-19 could forgo facial coverings.

But two Republicans have been racking up hefty fines for repeatedly defying the mask requirement.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) told The Hill last week that she has reached at least $63,000 in mask fines. That amount is reflective of fines issued through early November.

Greene, who has been briefly suspended from Twitter for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, also said that she is not vaccinated against the virus.

Clyde, meanwhile, has accumulated at least $15,500 in mask fines.

--Updated on Nov. 23 at 9:17 a.m.