U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens, said he is filing an appeal on his $5,000 fine for bypassing metal detectors at the House floor’s entrance, blaming Democrats for what called an “ongoing militarization of Capitol Hill.”
Clyde said in a statement provided by his office Wednesday, Feb. 24, that he has appealed the fines with the House Ethics Committee with the assistance of private counsel.
Clyde and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert were the first two Republicans to be punished by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early February for failing to comply with the rule enacted after the Capitol riot.
“While my name formally appears on the documentation, I am filing this appeal symbolically on behalf of my constituents in the Ninth Congressional District of Georgia, because it is their vote that is being impeded by Speaker Pelosi’s egregious actions,” Clyde said in a statement.
Lawmakers who bypass the metal detectors face a $5,000 fine for a first offense and $10,000 for each offense after that. If lawmakers don't pay within 90 days, the fine will be deducted from their paychecks. The salary for House members is $174,000, and they are not allowed to pay the fine with campaign funds or from their House office budget.
Clyde said in a statement that the metal detectors are part of “the Democratic Party’s ongoing attempt to treat Republicans as a threat when no such threat exists.”
“The ongoing militarization of Capitol Hill, including the placement of metal fencing, razor wire, and the deployment of National Guard troops, are also part of this perverse strategy,” Clyde said in a statement.
Members of the Committee on House Administration sent a letter Feb. 5, around the time Clyde’s fine was announced, asking the sergeant-at-arms to impose a fine on Pelosi. The letter stated multiple members saw Pelosi enter the chamber “without completing security screening.”
The House adopted the rule on a 216-210 vote, where all Republicans voted against it.
The metal detectors were installed at each entrance to the House floor after the deadly riot on Jan. 6. Some Republicans, including Gohmert and Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, immediately resisted, bypassing the checkpoints on their way into the chamber.
Pelosi previously said that anyone who bypasses the new security measures is "disrespecting our heroes by refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our congressional community safe."
Democratic House leaders decided to require lawmakers to pass through metal detectors after some Republicans inquired about carrying firearms on the House floor in the wake of the insurrection.
Tribune News Service contributed to this report.