Group of GOP legislators of the home take away masks within the chamber
WASHINGTON – A group of House GOP lawmakers refused to wear face masks on the floor during Tuesday’s polls, contrary to leadership’s rules regarding COVID-19 protocols.
The House Democrats introduced a rule in January that members would be fined $ 500 for a first offense and $ 2,500 for a second offense for not wearing a mask on the floor of the house.
Members of Tuesday who refused to wear a mask first included Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., Who was approached by a member of the House Sergeant of Arms during the voting and did not put on any.
Then others followed suit.
Some of them were Rep. Mary Miller, R-Il., Who was in the front row next to Rep. Ralph Norman, RS.C. sat and wore no face covering.
MPs Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, Thomas Massie from Kentucky, and Lauren Boebert from Colorado stood in front of the chamber, talking and laughing.
Reps Beth Van Duyne of Texas and Bob Good of Virginia sat amid a sea of their masked colleagues while Rep Madison Cawthorn, RN.C., rolled into the chamber with a face covering and whipped them after sitting in a chair.
The confrontation follows relaxed masked guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people who are fully vaccinated even indoors, except in crowded indoor spaces.
Not every Republican in the house is vaccinated, however.
Massie, who CNN reported was not vaccinated, tweeted repeatedly about the group of non-masked members. Massie tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in July 2020. The CDC recommends that people continue to be vaccinated whether or not they have had coronavirus, as experts are still unsure how long protection will last.
More:New mask guidelines: great for some, confusing for others. What experts say affects the CDC’s credibility.
Some other members like Greene won’t say if they have been vaccinated.
At a point where several maskless members had gathered near the front of the chamber, Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., Stepped up to them and confronted Massie not to wear a mask. You could hear Massie answer with the mask: “I can’t hear you”.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Vice Chairman of the Property Management Committee, then approached the group and spoke to Massie, Boebert and Greene for a lengthy, heated discussion. Raskin then walked away, shaking his head.
When asked what they were talking about, Raskin told USA TODAY that he told the Republican group that “100% of Democrats have been vaccinated so the only reason we can’t take our masks off on the floor is because of them is. “
Raskin said Republicans replied that they had “a protest against civil disobedience,” which he sarcastically likened to “freedom riders of the 21st century.”
Republicans are “a disservice to the house, a disservice to the country. I think they would send a much stronger message if they were vaccinated. If we were all vaccinated, we could all take our masks off. That would be the message” , he added.
Raskin later told USA TODAY, “I am not interested in your punishment. I am interested in your vaccination.”
Mast then told reporters that it was “the best $ 500 I’ve ever spent.” The group would not elaborate on whether or not they were all vaccinated.
POLITICO reported that House minority chairman Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Is planning a privileged motion on the mask rules on Wednesday.