Saturday , September 18 2021

House Republicans revolt over reinstated mask mandate

One day after Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan had reinstated a mask mandate in the House of Representatives, many House Republicans deliberately violated the rules by appearing maskless on the floor.

Florida GOP rep Byron Donalds was seen walking the floor of the house without a mask on Wednesday, though he told reporters he was not vaccinated.

“I have not been vaccinated. I have had Covid-19. I have recovered,” Donalds told reporters.

Asked why he did not wear a mask on the floor of the house, Donalds said, “This rule is stupid. Let’s just be blunt about this.”

“The Senate has no rules, so it’s funny how Covid works here differently than in the Senate,” he added.

California Democratic Representative Jared Huffman came into an outcry with Donalds outside the room over wearing a mask.

Huffman, in a mask, said Donalds was selfish for not wearing it. Donalds replied, “Do not worry about me! Think of your company!”

Republicans twice tried to stop the House as a result of boiling frustration over the new guidance. Rep.Chip Roy, one of many right-wing Republicans who went without a mask on Wednesday, gave a passionate floor speech about why he did not wear a mask when he first made the attempt to conquer the house.

Rep.  Kevin McCarthy, Leader for House Minority Home, spoke with reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Claiming that the mask mandate resentment is spreading among members, Roy said on the floor of the House, “No kidding. Remember that resentment here grows in the floor of the House of Representatives. We are absolutely sick and tired of it. “And so are the Americans. This shame of an institution does nothing for the American people.”

“This institution is a sham. And we need to demolish and close this place,” added the Republican from Texas, who last week refused to tell CNN his fax status.

GOP representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Andy Biggs of Arizona gave Roy a standing ovation after his remarks on the floor, all without wearing masks.

CNN saw at least 24 Republicans who did not want to wear masks on the house floor.

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When Boebert got on the floor, she threw a mask back at a floor worker when she was offered one while walking on the floor without a mask, according to a witness account passed to CNN.

Boebert’s office defended the actions of the Colorado newcomer in a statement to CNN: “Rep. Boebert refuses to comply with Speaker Pelos’ anti-scientific, totalitarian mask mandate. When she was offered a mask, she gave it back with a quick slide across the table. “

Asked by CNN later if she intends to fight the rules and get a fine, Boebert said: “If we relinquish our freedoms here, there is no chance for the people I represent at home.”

Greene was defiant when asked by CNN if she intended to wear a mask. “Do you see a mask on my face?” she asked. “I think that’s the answer to your question.”

Republicans’ resentment over wearing masks also led to an exchange of insults between the leadership of each party. Pelosi called McCarthy an “idiot” Wednesday morning after he was asked by a reporter about the Republic of California’s criticism of the Capitol Doctor’s masked mandate in the House.

McCarthy responded by saying, “Well, if she’s so brilliant, can she tell me where the science in the building is changing between the House and the Senate?” – pointing out that masks are now mandatory in the House, but only recommended in the Senate.

Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks last week during a news conference in her office.

McCarthy was spotted wearing a mask on the house floor on Wednesday.

Under house rules, members first receive warnings for evading mask rules, then $ 500 fines for second crimes and $ 2,500 for crimes thereafter. The House Ethics Committee has issued a number of fines and warnings since the mask rule was first introduced. Members were allowed to be on the floor of the house without masks since June 11, but the doctor’s house treated that guidance Tuesday night as the Delta variant emerged as the dominant Covid tribe across the country and in light of new American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The whiplash of the change in mask accompaniment has also caused some confusion among members.

Democratic rep. Josh Harder of California came in to vote from the outside and was not even aware that there was a mask mandate. Staff asked him to put on a mask and he replied, “Oh, are they mandatory?”

Underlying the masked debate returning to front and center among House members is the question of how many members have not yet been vaccinated. CNN reported in May that 100% of House Democrats were vaccinated only but 44.8% of Republicans in the House were known to have received the shots. Just last week, nearly half of House Republicans would still not share their fax status.

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin sent a letter to the House attending physician asking how many members still need to confirm whether they are vaccinated, and highlighting how questions about vaccine status support the debate over masks.

When Roy’s motion to expel failed, Democratic rep. Joe Morelle of New York sued his Republican colleagues for refusing masks on the floor of the house.

“I’ve noticed a great deal of irony, Mr Speaker,“Morelle said.” We face enormous challenges in our country and in our world, but the members who refuse to wear masks on the floor in the face of emerging infections of a deadly Delta variant, especially in states with low vaccination rates, respond to all this by making a motion to stop, to go home, to stop, to stop working. How ironic. “

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