10 House Republicans Defy Mask Rule in Chamber

3 are fined $500 each, 7 issued warnings
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2021 12:05 AM CDT
10 House Republicans Flout Mask Rule in Chamber
Beth Van Duyne, mayor of Irving, Texas, attends the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Plano, Texas.   (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Ten House Republicans, in defiance of coronavirus rules imposed in January, removed their masks in the chamber Tuesday. Three of them—Brian Mast of Florida, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa—will be fined $500 for going maskless on the House floor, and face $2,500 fines if they break the rule again. The rest were issued a warning and will be fined if it happens again, USA Today reports. They are: Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Chip Roy of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Mary Miller of Illinois, and Louie Gohmert of Texas. The House Sergeant of Arms first asked Mast to put on a mask and he refused, followed by others.

The White House changed its mask requirements after the CDC announced that vaccinated people need not wear masks indoors, but the House did not, and the GOP lawmakers appeared to be rebelling against that, Fox News reports. "Speaker Pelosi, in my opinion only wants it done where people can see you on TV," Mast said of the mask rule, a claim Massie echoed on Twitter. They say the mandate does not apply elsewhere in Congress, including the House gym. The maskless Republicans were apparently gleeful at their move, tweeting grinning selfies and the hashtag #FreeYourFace. Pelosi has indicated she has no plans to change the mask rule, pointing out that it's not clear whether every lawmaker is vaccinated. CNN could only confirm that 44.8% of Republicans are; Massie, for example, is not. (More House Republicans stories.)

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