COVID-19 new conference

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker speaks during a news conference April 28, 2020, about the COVID-19 pandemic at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center near Salunga.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker was fined $5,000 for failing to pass through a security screening on his way to the House floor last Wednesday.

According to multiple U.S. Capitol Police reports, Smucker bypassed the security screening on May 19 and entered the House chambers, “while disregarding clearly stated verbal directions” from officers.

Smucker then went to the House floor to vote. After voting, he returned to security to participate in the screening, according to police reports.

Smucker skipped security and entered the House chambers at 2:50 p.m. on Wednesday, according to police reports. At 2:53 p.m., the House passed a bill to allow the Food and Drug Administration to create a seven-year exclusivity period for drugs that treat diseases that affect 200,000 or fewer people in the U.S. each year. Smucker voted in favor of the bill.

Smucker will appeal the violation, his press secretary Eric Reath wrote in an email. Reath did not provide any further comment.

Smucker can appeal the fine to the Committee on Ethics within 30 days of being notified of his fine. He was notified on May 20, and the Committee on Ethics notified the public in a press release on Monday.

The House passed a measure in early February to fine members up to $10,000 for bypassing security screenings, as part of multiple increased security measures to protect the chambers following the Jan. 6 attacks on Congress. Members may be fined $5,000 for their first offense, and $10,000 each time after. This would be Smucker’s first offense.

Multiple House members have been fined for bypassing security’s metal detectors and entering the House, with some members receiving successful appeal determinations, such as Democratic Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn. Clyburn successfully appealed his fine to the Committee on Ethics in a ruling last week, after he disputed that he did not refuse to be screened after he “briefly exited” the House chamber, according to his appeal.

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