Democrat House Ethics Committee Fines GOP Reps. Greene, Good, Clyde for Mask Violations

By Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a Congressional reporter for The Epoch Times who focuses on the Democrats. He got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.
December 6, 2021 Updated: December 6, 2021

The Democrat-led House Ethics Committee announced on Monday its intention to fine Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Bob Good (R-Va.), and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) for violating a House mask mandate put in place with no Republican support.

The rule, introduced as House Resolution 38 (H.R. 38) in January, directs the House Sergeant-at-Arms “to impose a $500 fine for a first offense and a $2,500 fine for any subsequent offense against a Member, Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner for failure to wear a mask in contravention of the Speaker’s announced policies of January 4, 2021.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had earlier put the mandate in place for all members; H.R. 38 merely cemented the speaker’s diktat as a finable offense.

However, the resolution received zero Republican support when it came to the House floor.

Seven Republicans, including Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Gregory Murphy (R-N.C.), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), abstained from voting; Clyde, who has since been fined several times under the resolution, also did not take part in the vote.

With their majority, Democrats easily passed the resolution, voting 222-204 to pass the resolution.

This mandate was eventually relaxed a bit, but following the rise of the Delta variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, Pelosi again made the decision to require members of the House to wear a mask inside the Capitol.

Republicans took the opportunity to again criticize Pelosi’s unilateral imposition, leading to a spat between the speaker and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

After the new mandate was announced in July, McCarthy in a tweet condemned the decision to reimpose mask mandates.

“Make no mistake—The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” McCarthy wrote.

“This is some serious nanny-state stuff that will only breed resentment. No kidding,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) of the new mandate on the House floor.

Pelosi later snapped back at McCarthy and others’ criticism of her, calling it “moronic,” and equating masks with science and opposition to masks as anti-science.

Now, the Ethics Committee has announced a laundry list of fines for GOP opponents of the mask mandate.

Clyde: Fines Violate House Rules

Clyde’s violations were the first published by the committee. According to the Ethics Committee statement, he is being fined for a total of seven violations. Under the conditions laid out in H.R. 38, Clyde will be subject to $15,500 in fines.

The resolution allows for appeal, and Clyde put forward an appeal arguing that the fines were themselves in violation of the rules of the House.

In his appeal letter, Clyde argued that the fine mentioned in H.R. 38 applied only to Speaker Pelosi’s Jan. 4 mandate.

However, Clyde said, “the Speaker chose to update the House’s ‘mask policy’ on May 11th, 2021.” Because the policy was changed from the original Jan. 4 policy, Clyde reasoned, H.R. 38 could not be enforced against him.

The Democrat-led Ethics Committee was not impressed by the argument, and in its Monday announcement said that a majority of the committee had voted against allowing the appeal.

Good: Fine, Resolution ‘Unconstitutional’

Good faced a far less hefty fine: In their statement on Good’s violation, the committee only cited one offense, a $500 fine.

Like Clyde, Good argued in his appeal letter against the legality of the resolution, but took a far different approach. Rather than citing the changes made to Pelosi’s original Jan. 4 mandate, Good made a constitutional case against the fines.

First, Good argued, H.R. 38 violates the 27th amendment.

The 27th amendment, the most recent change to the Founders’ original framework, is a simple one, meant to guarantee that members of Congress cannot immediately raise their own pay; Under the rules laid out in the amendment, any change in compensation must not occur until the next Congress is seated.

H.R. 38’s fines are collected by garnishing the paycheck of members of Congress who violate the rule.

The resolution, argued Good, “changes the compensation of a Representative without an intervening election as guaranteed by the 27th Amendment.” As such, he said, the fine it imposes is “unconstitutional.”

Turning to a much older amendment, Good argued that the fine also violates his 5th amendment right to due process of law. H.R. 38, he said, “takes away property without due process of law.”

Because the House Ethics Committee is not a court and requires lower evidentiary standards, Good reasons, his property—in this case, his earnings—cannot be seized.

Again, Democrats on the committee were not impressed with these arguments and voted to fine Good.

Greene Racks Up Tens of Thousands in Fines

Finally, the committee announced fines against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a well-known conservative and Trump supporter. The current fines announced against Greene rack up to $15,000.

Unliked Clyde and Good, Greene refused to make an appeal for these offenses.

A member of Greene’s staff explained that while the congresswoman made an appeal after her first violation of the mandate, she has not chosen to appeal further charges. Since her first fine, the staffer noted, “[Greene] has received many more, totaling over $70,000.”

As the time for an appeal for any of the most recent charges had passed, the committee announced its decision to fine Greene for each offense.

In a statement to the Epoch Times, Greene blasted not only House mask mandates but also mask mandates across the country.

“Over the past year and a half, Communist Democrats have ruled our country as tyrannical dictators with mandates and lock downs,” Greene said. “Now, the American people have had enough and are standing up against these outrageous and unconstitutional policies.”

Greene vowed, “I will continue my stand on the House floor against authoritarian Democrat mandates, because I don’t want the American people to stand alone.”

Joseph Lord
Joseph Lord is a Congressional reporter for The Epoch Times who focuses on the Democrats. He got his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Clemson University and was a scholar in the Lyceum Program.