The Capitol Police appeared to backtrack on a previous claim that officers would arrest staff and visitors who do not comply with the mask mandate.
What they’re saying: The USCP said in a press statement that “there is no reason” for the Capitol Police to arrest people.
“Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. The Department’s requirements for officers to wear masks is for their health and safety,” the statement reads.
How we got here: Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) tweeted a copy of a memo penned by Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger which said that Capitol visitors and staffers who refuse to wear face coverings might get arrested.
“If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to the House Office Buildings or House-side of the U.S. Capitol. Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry,” the memo reads.
Thomas explained that while the mask mandate applies to all congress members, the enforcement does not. Capitol Police officers are expected to report lawmakers who refuse to wear a face covering to supervising officers “who will, in turn, refer the matter to the House Sergeant at Arms.”
Cammack accused Pelosi of “abuse of power.”
She told Fox News that she received the memo from a police officer and that she was told the police were “very uncomfortable” with the order.
The mask mandate came after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance, recommending that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in regions where there is a surge of coronavirus cases.
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