House Panel Upholds $500 Mask Fines for 3 GOP Lawmakers

House Panel Upholds $500 Mask Fines for 3 GOP Lawmakers
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) talks to the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Three Republican House lawmakers lost their appeals on Tuesday after being rejected by the House Ethics Committee over $500 fines for not wearing their masks on the House floor.

The three lawmakers, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) were previously fined in May for repeatedly choosing to not wear their masks, defying the House floor mask mandate that was put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in June 2020 amid the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

They filed appeals in mid-June.

In May, Pelosi continued to require that masks be worn on the House floor even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had updated its guidance to say that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”

Brian Monahan, the Capitol's attending physician, wrote in May after the new CDC guidance that “mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated.”

A vote took place on the House floor a week after the new CDC guidance that marked when the three lawmakers defied mask rules.

Other lawmakers also defied the mask rules that day, including Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Bob Good (R-Va.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

"I voted on the House floor without wearing my mask. I did so because I was following the direction of our nation's top scientists that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask,” Norman wrote in his appeal, pointing out that he has been fully vaccinated since February.

Both Greene and Massie previously said they had not taken the vaccine.

Greene, in her appeal, said that the $500 fine was “arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not consistent with law or with principles of fairness."

"The mask mandate is not in accordance with the latest recognized science, including, without limitation, evidence that those who are vaccinated and those who have previously had and overcome COVID-19 are conferred immunity from the virus," she also wrote.

Reps. Mast, Van Duyne, and Miller-Meeks did not file an appeal when they were dealt $500 fines.

The House floor mask mandate was lifted on June 11, such that fully vaccinated members, staff, and visitors to the chamber no longer were required to wear a mask.