House Republican wants restrictions on masks with messages

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) asked Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Republicans bash Democrats' China competition bill Man seen wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt on Jan. 6 pleads guilty to trespassing Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (D-Calif.) to impose limitations on messaging on face masks worn by lawmakers on the House floor in a letter last week.

In the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, Banks specifically cited a mask worn by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) on Dec. 3 displaying his campaign logo, noting that House members are barred from wearing campaign pins on the floor.

“This is an obvious violation of the House’s prohibition on the use of official resources for campaign purposes,” he wrote.


The same day, he wrote, Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerSenate candidate Gary Chambers discusses his opposition to criminalizing marijuana Lobbying world Congress to take up marijuana reform this spring MORE (D-Ore.) wore a mask with marijuana leaves during debate over the MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis.

“Legality aside, it’s unbecoming for a House member to wear clothing that promotes the use of any recreational drugs on the House floor,” wrote Banks, the incoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee. “It’s a clear violation of the House’s Code of Conduct, which prohibits all behavior that does not ‘reflect creditably on the House.’”

Banks wrote that House Speakers have historically taken action on what they have determined to be inappropriate attire, including then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) withdrawing recognition from a member in 2012 after he determined he was not dressed properly.

“Speaker Pelosi, you’ve allowed facemasks to be worn on the House floor that wouldn’t be allowed in a High School assembly hall. It’s unfortunate that some members can’t resist using facemasks that undermine house decorum. The best solution is likely a blanket ban on stylized facemasks. It’s time to restore dignity to the House," he said.

Reached for comment by The Hill, Blumenauer said drug policy is "blatantly discriminatory."

"We’ve got a pandemic, during which Republicans have done nothing to help families and small businesses that are desperate," he added. "And they’re worried about a pattern on a mask? Get a grip.”

The Hill has also reached out to Cuellar's and Pelosi’s offices for comment.

--Updated on Dec. 8 at 9:57 a.m.