As many as 10 GOP congressmen refused to wear masks on the House floor Tuesday, defying Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mandate, The Hill reported.
“We’ve had enough. We are refusing to wear our masks on the floor during this vote in spite of [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s threat to take $500 from each of us,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said in a post on Twitter. “Her rule is not based on science. All you need to know is the mask rule has only ever applied to members when they can be seen on TV!”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also tweeted a selfie with three fellow Republicans maskless on the House floor.
“Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool. End the oppression!” her tweet said with the #FreeYourFace.
Pelosi announced the mandate last summer after some GOP congressmen refused to wear them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats authorized fines for the House mask mandate in January, costing violators $500 for the first instance and $2,500 for the second, according to the report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out new guidance last week that eliminated the need for masks while inside for fully vaccinated individuals.
On Monday, the Senate dropped its mask mandate.
Most members in the upper chamber, including leadership on both sides of the aisle, shed their masks as they returned for a procedural vote, The Hill reported.
Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, put out a memo following the CDC announcement saying the mask mandate would continue in the lower chamber until all members and floor staff were “fully vaccinated.”
“Extra precautions are necessary given the substantial number of partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, and vaccine-indeterminate individuals,” the memo, as reported by CNN, said.
According to the CNN report on Tuesday, all 219 Democrats and 95 of the 211 Republican House members have been vaccinated.
“We can’t require vaccinations for the members of Congress, much less the American people,” Pelosi told ABC News in April. “The (House) physician cannot tell us Democrats, Republicans or who — and that’s right, we should be respecting people’s privacy.”
According to The Hill report, several Democrats including Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, R-Md., tried in vain to get their GOP colleagues to mask up.
“I told them to be more considerate of other members and staff and they should have their masks on,” Kelly told The Hill.
Partisan disagreement over the mandate continued outside on the Capitol steps as Republican members posed for more photos without their face coverings as Democrats rebuked them.
“If you choose not to wear a mask, if you choose to disrespect the floor staff, if you choose to give them a hard time, that’s on you,” Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., told Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.
“It’s definitely on us if we choose not to wear a mask. I’m glad we agree,” Mast replied, according to The Hill.
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