GOP Rep. Clyde racks up $15,500 in mask fines

GOP Rep. Clyde racks up $15,500 in mask fines
© Greg Nash

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) has been fined $15,500 for not wearing a mask on the House floor at least seven times in recent weeks, the House Ethics Committee disclosed on Monday.

Clyde has now racked up a total of $30,500 worth of fines this year for declining to comply with House rules established by Democrats requiring lawmakers to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and undergo security screenings prior to entering the chamber.

Clyde was also fined $15,000 earlier this year for twice evading the metal detector screenings, which were established after the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to enforce longstanding rules prohibiting anyone from bringing weapons into the House chamber. Clyde later made headlines in May when he compared scenes from Jan. 6 to a "normal tourist visit."

Clyde isn't the only House Republican who is accruing hefty fines to protest rules regarding masks during the pandemic.

The Hill first reported last week that Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) has been fined $48,000 after the House sergeant-at-arms documented she had not worn a mask at least 20 times through the end of October.

Greene has been undeterred by the fines and vowed she "will continue my stand on the House floor against authoritarian Democrat mandates, because I don’t want the American people to stand alone."

Under the rules established by Democrats, lawmakers are fined $500 for the first mask offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses. Lawmakers who fail to comply with the chamber security screenings are fined $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses. The penalties are deducted from lawmakers' salaries and cannot be paid for with campaign or congressional office budget funds.

Lawmakers have 30 days to file an appeal against any fine if they wish, but Clyde did not attempt to challenge any of his mask-related penalties. Clyde's office didn't immediately return a request for comment from The Hill. 

Clyde, along with Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertFocus on Perry could mean more subpoenas, challenges for Jan. 6 panel Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Texas), filed a lawsuit in June to challenge the constitutionality of the security screening fines.

Greene and fellow GOP Reps. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanTop House Democrat pushes for 'isolation boxes' for maskless lawmakers Congress restores strict health protocols during omicron-fueled surge A woke military is no defense at all — why Defense bill in current form must not pass MORE (S.C.) and Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieTop House Democrat pushes for 'isolation boxes' for maskless lawmakers Congress restores strict health protocols during omicron-fueled surge Mexican president says he sought pardon for Assange from Trump MORE (Ky.) similarly filed a lawsuit challenging the mask fines after they were all hit with penalties earlier this year.