[WATCH] House Rejects GOP Effort to Roll Back Mask Mandates
Since the early days of the pandemic, the issue of masks quickly became one of the most controversial hot-button topics. First dismissed and then quickly deemed necessary and/or mandatory to prevent the spreading of the deadly virus, the mask mandates remain controversial concurrent with the rollout of vaccines. Several members of the GOP have famously fought and mocked the mask mandates in Congress from the outset, and with last week’s surprising and confusing announcement that vaccinated Americans can go without masks in specific situations, several anti-maskers went out of their way to try to make the point that masks were simply no longer needed at all.
However, the CDC guidelines still suggest masks for certain indoor gatherings, and as long as those mandates remain in place, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still going to enforce them inside the House chambers whether the Republicans like it or not.
And the vote indicated they didn’t like it very much. With a narrow vote of 218-210 along party lines Wednesday to turn down the resolution, House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) tabled calling on the attending physician to direct Speaker Pelosi to adopt the CDC’s mask guidance for House floor proceedings.
Office of Attending Physician has some additional mask guidance for the House
There's been a *tad* bit of confusion over this since last week pic.twitter.com/KIr6ksLozf
— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) May 17, 2021
A mix of fines and warnings were handed down to a group of House Republicans on Tuesday who had defied the chamber’s mask mandate on the House floor. Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, and Beth Van Duyne of Texas all received $500 fines for second offenses of the mask mandate, the official said. Additional offenses of the mandate would result in $2,500 fines.
Additional Republican lawmakers received first offense warnings, the official told CNN, including Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Chip Roy of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Mary Miller of Illinois, and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Current House rules state that members can remove their masks on the floor only when they are recognized by the chair to speak. The chair may also remove their mask when speaking from the dais.
Watch MSNBC’s coverage of the Republicans’ latest anti-mask efforts, below.