Rep. Louie Gohmert's pay to be docked by $5,000 for entering House floor without security screening

The congressman had appealed the fine but the House Ethics Committee did not agree to the appeal.

Updated: March 31, 2021 - 8:08am

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Rep. Louie Gohmert will have $5,000 deducted from his pay because the House Ethics Committee has not agreed to the Texas Republican's appeal of a fine for failing to engage in a security screening prior to entering the House floor.

In his appeal of the fine imposed by the House sergeant-at arms Gohmert said that he had gone through the security screening process prior to entering the chamber, but then departed and reentered the chamber after going to use the bathroom beside the Speaker's Lobby. 

"During the weeks that the metal detectors have been in place, I have entered the House floor previously after being screened through the metal detector, then later gone to the Members' restroom immediately beside the Speaker's Lobby many times. I have never before been wanded on coming from the restroom to the House floor. There was no metal detector at either end of the Speaker's Lobby," Gohmert wrote. Later in his appeal Gohmert noted that "a metal detector has now been placed at both ends of the Speaker's Lobby."

Gohmert said that he "mentioned to the officers on the day in question that I was going to the restroom right by the Speaker's Lobby, and they watched me go in and within probably less than three minutes, watched me return. The officer said I needed to be wanded but since I had already been through the metal detector thoroughly and having never before been required to be wanded after already having entered the Floor properly, I returned to the House Floor to engage in my turn to debate the bill under consideration. Having received no notice whatsoever of a new need to be ... wanded on returning from the restroom beside the House Floor after proper clearance through the metal detector protocol, I was not screened yet again with the wand."

The Hill noted that rules adopted by House Democrats in February indicate that lawmakers should be slapped with a $5,000 fine for a first failure to go through security screening and a $10,000 fine of a second infraction. The money will be removed from the legislators' paychecks, though members can appeal the fine to the House Ethics Committee.

A press release that included a statement from Gohmert said that the House Ethics Committee's vote on his appeal had been evenly split 5-5 along party lines.

"Multiple witnesses watched Speaker Pelosi avoid metal detectors and avoid being wanded when she entered the House Floor that same day that I DID go through the metal detector to enter the House floor but was not wanded coming out of the restroom. If this is not corrected in a courtroom, then House members of both parties will be subject to the tyranny of a partisan, zealot Speaker for the rest of Congress' existence," Gohmert said in a statement.

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