House

Greene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has been fined a third time for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, the House Ethics Committee disclosed on Monday.

Greene has now racked up a total of $5,500 worth of mask fines this year.

Under the rules that Democrats established in January to enforce compliance with the mask requirement on the House floor, members are fined $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses.

Greene and several other Republicans were fined $500 in May for protesting the ongoing mask requirement at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised that vaccinated people could forgo masks. But Greene has declined to confirm whether she is vaccinated and has been suspended from Twitter for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Greene was fined again in August, with the penalty spiking to $2,500. Her latest fine is also set at $2,500.

Greene filed an appeal with the House Ethics Committee the first time that she was issued a mask fine, but the panel rejected it and upheld the fine. Since then, Greene has not filed appeals with the committee to challenge her subsequent fines.

With the exception of a brief period in June to late July before the emergence of the delta variant of COVID-19, the House has had a mask mandate since July 2020. The Senate, meanwhile, has never had a mask mandate for a chamber in which all but a few of its members are vaccinated.

Greene said in a statement on Monday that she thinks masks are “unhealthy” and is “taking a stand on the House floor because I don’t want the people to stand alone.”

“While half of the Capitol doesn’t have mask requirements like the Senate side, Nancy Pelosi still thinks strapping a napkin to their face is worth arresting people and fining Members of Congress,” Greene said.

Greene and two other Republicans who were issued mask fines, Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Ralph Norman (S.C.), filed a lawsuit in July to challenge the constitutionality of the mask fines.

The House Ethics Committee also disclosed on Monday that another Republican, Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.), had been issued a $500 mask fine as well.

Clyde was previously fined twice in February for failing to comply with security screenings to enter the House chamber.

Democrats also established fines to enforce compliance with the metal detectors installed outside entrances to the House chamber after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The metal detectors were erected to ensure that lawmakers comply with rules prohibiting weapons in the House and Senate chambers. But several Republicans refused to follow Capitol Police officers’ instructions and evaded the screenings to enter the chamber, prompting Democrats to enact the fines of $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second.

Clyde, who accrued $15,000 worth of fines, later filed a lawsuit with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) to challenge the constitutionality of the metal detector fines.

Clyde tried to appeal his metal detector fines but did not file an appeal with the House Ethics Committee for the mask fine issued in September.

But the House Ethics Committee did announce Monday that it was dismissing metal detector fines issued against Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).

The panel, which has even numbers of Democrats and Republicans, previously agreed to appeals from House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).  

— Updated 5:43 p.m.

Tags Dan Crenshaw Hal Rogers Louie Gohmert Marjorie Taylor Greene Nancy Pelosi Ralph Norman Thomas Massie Virginia Foxx
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