House

Massie, Greene trash mask violation warnings from House sergeant at arms

Two House Republican lawmakers threw out letters from the House sergeant at arms warning against violating the lower chamber’s mask policy.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie (R) tweeted a photo on Wednesday showing House Sergeant at Arms William J. Walker’s letter in the trash, writing, “Just filed @SpeakerPelosi’s letter warning me to follow her mask rule.”

The letter, addressed to Massie, reads: “Pursuant to House Resolution 38, you were observed not wearing a mask on the Floor of the House on May 18, 2021. You were then asked by a member of my staff to wear a mask while in the Hall of the House of Representatives, unless recognized to speak by the chair.” 

The notice goes on to warn the Republican lawmaker that a further violation would result in an initial $500 fine. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) first announced the mask rule in the lower chamber in July. Walker, in his position as sergeant at arms, enforces the House rules. 

Multiple Republican lawmakers defied the House rules this week after new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued last week stated that vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor situations. The CDC guidance also states that vaccinated individuals do not have to maintain social distancing protocols. 

Despite the newest guidance from the health agency, the lower chamber has not changed its mask rules. 

Massie was ultimately issued a fine Thursday, the Courier Journal reported, one day after he posted the photo of Pelosi’s letter in the trash.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) said on Twitter on Wednesday that she had discarded Walker’s letter, putting it through a paper shredder.

“You can’t discriminate against people simply because they won’t wear a mask and today I refused to wear a mask on the House floor and I received a warning from Speaker Pelosi that leads to fines if I continue to refuse to wear a mask. Well, here’s what I think of your warning, Speaker Pelosi,” Greene said.

On Tuesday three GOP lawmakers — Reps. Brian Mast (Fla.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) — were fined $500 for violating the House’s mask mandate.

Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Chip Roy (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Mary Miller (Ill.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) were also reportedly issued fines for refusing to abide by the House mask mandate.

The House voted down a resolution Thursday brought forth by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that would have forced the Capitol’s attending physician to change the House chamber mask rule.

The Capitol physician’s office has said that the current House rule is in accordance with the CDC’s new guidance because the House chambers are “the only location where the entire Membership gathers periodically throughout the day in an interior space.”

“The Hall of the House has received this special medical consideration for continued mask wear, which is the same for committee meeting spaces, that may change in the future based upon [the] degree of entire group vaccination attained and prevailing coronavirus community risk,” the memo from the Capitol physician’s office read.

Updated 8:39 p.m.

Tags Brian Mast Chip Roy House Republicans Kevin McCarthy Lauren Boebert Lauren Boebert Louie Gohmert Marjorie Taylor Greene Marjorie Taylor Greene Members of the United States Congress Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Thomas Massie Thomas Massie

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