Greene accrues at least $48K in fines for ignoring House mask mandate
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has been reprimanded by the House sergeant-at-arms at least 20 times this year for refusing to wear a mask in the chamber, which has added up to $48,000 worth of associated fines.
The House Ethics Committee publicly disclosed on Monday that Greene had been fined at least seven times this year, most recently in late September.
But the committee’s public disclosures, which come after lawmakers have had 30 days to file an appeal if they wish, appear to be just a fraction of all of Greene’s mask violations to date.
According to a letter from House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker dated Oct. 28, Greene has been documented not wearing a mask in the House chamber at least 20 times since May. Greene was fined $500 in May for her first offense, with $2,500 penalties imposed for subsequent offenses.
“You have been observed not wearing a mask on July 29, August 2, September 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, and October 1, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, and 27, and have been asked by a member of my staff to wear a mask while in the Hall of the House of Representatives on each occasion unless recognized to speak by the chair,” Walker wrote in the letter, which Greene’s office shared with The Hill.
Greene earlier this year wore masks around the Capitol decorated with messages like “Trump Won” and “Censored.” But in recent months, she has routinely forgone masks on the House floor and elsewhere despite the mask requirement intended for everyone on the House side of the Capitol.
“I will continue my stand on the House floor against authoritarian Democrat mandates, because I don’t want the American people to stand alone,” Greene said in a statement on Monday.
House Democrats established a mask mandate in July 2020 because several Republicans refused to wear masks, including one who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 after having contact with other lawmakers.
Democrats later established hefty fines to enforce the House mask requirement after a number of Republicans, including Greene, declined to wear masks while lawmakers were crowded together in a secure space during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
House members are fined $500 for the first mask offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses.
Greene filed an appeal with the House Ethics Committee to challenge the first mask fine she was issued in May, but the evenly divided panel upheld the fine. Greene has not filed appeals for any of her other mask fines since then.
Greene — along with two other Republicans fined for refusing to wear masks on the House floor, Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Ralph Norman (S.C.) — filed a lawsuit in July to challenge the constitutionality of the mask fines.
Greene has been suspended from Twitter for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and faced backlash earlier this year for comparing vaccine and mask rules to the Holocaust.
Greene apologized in June for making the Holocaust comparison following rare rebukes from GOP leaders.
Greene isn’t the only House Republican who is racking up thousands of dollars’ worth of fines for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor.
The House Ethics Committee also disclosed on Monday that Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) — who compared the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to a “normal tourist visit” — has been fined a total of at least four times, or $8,000, for not wearing a mask.
Clyde has not filed appeals for any of those mask fines. But he did unsuccessfully try to appeal another $15,000 worth of fines earlier this year for failing to comply with metal detector screenings to enter the House chamber.
Clyde subsequently filed a lawsuit with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) challenging the constitutionality of the fines meant to enforce compliance with the security screenings.
The metal detectors were installed outside the entrances to the House chamber shortly after Jan. 6 to enforce compliance with rules prohibiting lawmakers from bringing weapons inside. Democrats later instituted fines — $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses — when several Republicans defied Capitol Police officers’ instructions to comply with the security screenings.
Two other far-right Republicans, Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Lauren Boebert (Colo.), joked over the weekend about blowing up the metal detectors with explosives.
“I’ll bring the Tannerite!” Boebert tweeted, referring to a material that can be used as an explosive.
Boebert later sought to clarify that she was speaking in jest after numerous Twitter users tagged the FBI in response to her original tweet.
“To the fools who think this would be done inside the Capitol: get a life! The metal detectors are useless and we are getting rid of them when Republicans take back the House,” Boebert tweeted.
To the fools who think this would be done inside the Capitol: get a life!
The metal detectors are useless and we are getting rid of them when Republicans take back the House.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) October 31, 2021
Updated at 4:18 p.m.