The following statement may be attributed to Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH), regarding the recent installation of magnetometers at the entrances to the House Chamber. These machines are in addition to the strict security procedures every Member, staff, and visitor is subject to upon entering the Capitol building, but were placed unilaterally, without the consultation of the Members or a vote to amend the House Rules – as most security changes are typically made. There is an outstanding question whether the installation of these machines violates Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution, that states that a Member or Senator cannot be delayed or detained when they are conducting their Constitutional duty – voting. Legality aside, the staffing of these checkpoints stretches the already-limited resources of the Capitol Police, who are responsible for the safety of not just Members, but also their staff and the support staff for the building.
“To set the record straight, I have never disobeyed any instructions given by Capitol Police. Since the magnetometers were installed at the entrances to the House Floor yesterday, I’ve passed through them each time I’ve gone to vote without incident. I did, however, ask an officer to pass along my information to those who made this decision as I am concerned about the constitutionality of said decision.
I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, and am extremely disappointed by efforts to mischaracterize my actions.”