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House Erupts Into War Over Mask Mandate As Many Republicans Risk Fines In Protest

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at July 28, 2021


Tensions on both sides of the House boiled over Wednesday as nearly 20 Republican lawmakers defied the chamber’s newly reimposed mask mandate despite the risk of fines and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bashed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as a “moron” for his opposition to the rule.

Key Facts

Five Republicans could have $2,500 deducted from their paychecks after being caught maskless for the third time: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.).

Norman told Forbes he is not worried about the fine because out of confidence the Supreme Court will take up a lawsuit he filed with Greene and Massie to knock down the rule under the 27th Amendment, which requires a vote of the House before changing members’ pay.

Four more who received first offense warnings for a protest against the mandate in May – Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Bob Good (R-Va.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) – could get fined $500.

Other members could receive a first-offense warning – Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told Forbes “you get a warning” when asked why he wasn’t wearing a mask.

McCarthy wore a mask on the floor after railing against the return of mask mandates, with Pelosi telling reporters McCarthy is “such a moron” when asked about his comments.

Walking into the chamber Wednesday morning, Boebert threw a mask at a Democratic floor staffer who had offered it to her, according to CNN, Politico and ABC News.

Reps. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) got into a shouting match outside the House chamber, with Huffman berating Donalds for not wearing a mask and Donalds replying “mind your business!”

House Democrats, and a handful of Republicans, also voted to defeat a motion to adjourn the House put forth by Roy after railing against the mask mandate in a floor speech.

Key Background

The Capitol’s attending physician sent out an alert to lawmakers and staff on Tuesday night reimposing mask mandates that were lifted in May and June, covering the House office buildings, committee rooms and the chamber. The move came after several lawmakers and staffers, including an aide to Pelosi, tested positive for the virus. The announcement came after the Centers for Disease Control recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor spaces in places where coronavirus infections are surging.

Big Number

180%. That’s how much coronavirus cases have increased in Washington, D.C. in the last two weeks – with a 13% increase in hospitalizations – amid the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

Crucial Quote

“What’s next? If she says we ought to dye our hair and wear blue socks, and if not you’re gonna get a fine, do we have to do that? So it’s just an abuse of power, and so we’ve got to stand up somewhere,” Norman told Forbes, adding that it’s “not about” masks.

Crucial Quote

“If she’s so brilliant, can she explain to me where the science in the building changes between the House and the Senate,” McCarthy told reporters when asked about Pelosi calling him a “moron,” referring to the fact that only the House has a formal mask mandate.


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