The Assistant Speaker of the House, Democrat Rep. Katherine Clark has proposed having House members who do not wear masks sit in plexiglass isolation boxes. She made the suggestion on her website.
“I write today regarding the enforcement of House rules prohibiting Members from entering the House Chamber without wearing a mask,” the assistant Speaker said in a letter addressed to the House Sergeant At Arms Gen. William J. Walker.
“House Resolution 38 requires your office to utilize authority under House Rule II, clause 3(g) to impose a $500 fine for the first offense and $2,500 fine for the second offense to any Member who fails to wear a mask on the House floor. These rules are designed to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“Unfortunately, these fines have proven insufficient to prevent some Members from repeatedly violating this commonsense rule. In fact, two House members alone have accumulated more than $100,000 in fines over the last year. This callous disregard for House rules endangers the health of Members of Congress and the professional staff whose physical presence is required to ensure continuity of government. This has only become more urgent with the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant and what the Attending Physician describes as ‘unprecedented number of cases in the Capitol community,’” she said.
“That is why, in addition to imposing fines, I am requesting that your office begin requiring Members who fail to comply with this rule to attend the House floor from the isolation boxes in the House Gallery. These boxes were designed to minimize the risk of exposure to quarantined Members, yet those who refuse to mask pose the same or higher risk of exposing individuals around them to COVID.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green responded to the controversy in an interview with a media source.
“I’ll argue that they may not be fit to do the job,” she said in a phone interview with Insider. “Maybe they need to consider that they are the ones in the risk group, and they should just go sit it out until they feel safe to come out.”
She and fellow Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde have amassed more than $100,000 in fines for not abiding by the House rules on masking, Insider reported.
Greene has incurred more than $80,000 in penalties and has been fined more than 30 times for defying mask rules, the report said, while Clyde has amassed at least $30,000 in penalties and has been fined at least 14 times.
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