Coronavirus

GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene & Andrew Clyde Fined Over $100,000 For Refusing Masks On House Floor

House Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) and Andrew Clyde (R-Georgia) have incurred over $100,000 combined in fines over their insistence to defy safety measures placed on House members. The majority of their defiance occurs in their refusal to wear masks on the House floor.

In January, the House enacted a rule stating that failure to wear a mask on the House floor once will result in a $500 fine, and each subsequent violation results in a $2,500 fine. The penalties come out of the representatives’ paychecks.

Greene is unvaccinated and has vehemently protested wearing masks. She has called the requirement “communist,” “tyrannical” and “authoritarian.” She has been fined more than 30 times for violating the mask rules, incurring more than $80,000 in fines. Clyde, her fellow protester, has been fined at least 14 times for defiance of the mask mandate. He has incurred over $30,000 in penalties.

Other Republicans have been fined for defying the mask order at least once. Among these lawmakers are Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), Bob Good (R-Virginia), Brian Mast (R-Florida), Mary Miller (R-Illinois), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Ralph Norman (R-South Carolina) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa).

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Greene, Massie and Norman have filed a federal lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to remove the fines. The suit argues that mask defiance is neither disorderly behavior nor unlawful.

Pelosi has said that the mask rule protects House members and staff from a “terrible epidemic that has caused suffering and death on a scale not seen in this country since the 1918 influenza pandemic.”

House general counsel Douglas N. Letter noted in a court filing that two Republican lawmakers, Congress Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) and Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-Louisiana) have died of the virus.

Letter said that the fines are completely within the House’s rights in order to “govern its own chamber proceedings and to discipline its own members.” He added, “This is particularly true here, where the resolution at issue is designed to protect the health of members and staff in the place where all full House debates and votes take place.”

Clyde and other Republicans have defied other safety measures placed on the lawmakers—namely, the rule requiring that members pass through a metal detector before entering the chamber. The fines against Clyde and two other Republicans, Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Pennsylvania) were upheld. Two of Clyde’s fines for the metal detector violation total $15,000.

The rule was enacted after rioters, encouraged by Republicans, stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and destroyed parts of the building while calling to murder certain politicians.

Camryn Bolkin

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