October 21, 2021

Three Republicans face mask fines from House Ethics Committee

Three Republicans are facing fines after the House Ethics Committee choose Friday to uphold the $500 penalties levied against them for not wearing masks, according to The Washington Examiner

Fines were placed on GOP members Reps. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), and Brian Mast (R-FL) after the sergeant-at-arms determined they weren’t in compliance with the chamber’s mask requirements earlier this year.

Both Van Duyne and Mast appealed the decision but were eventually shot down by the Ethics Committee when they sided with the House Rules that allowed fines against those who didn’t adhere to the policy, excepting extraordinary circumstances.

“I appeal this violation and fine on several grounds,” Mast wrote in his appeal. “First, on the date of my alleged violation, I was in full compliance with Center[s] for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

“I am fully vaccinated and followed the science, which on May 13, 2021, was updated by the CDC to state that ‘fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.’ …Second, H.Res. 73 is in violation of Article 1, Section 5; Article 1, Section 6; and the 27th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Therefore, it is without merit and unenforceable.”

The Iowa Republican also went on to outline how he felt the situation was an example of the majority party attempting to exercise “power and control” over members of Congress, rather than being about the science surrounding the spread of coronavirus.

“The Ethics Committee has become a partisan clown show holding show trials for the amusement of Nancy Pelosi while unilaterally overturning fines for Democrats and enforcing them against Republicans,” Mast said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner.

“It’s absurd that after a year of telling Americans to ‘follow the science,’ Speaker Pelosi refuses to take her own advice. I was vaccinated, I was following CDC guidance, and yet, I was still fined because it has never been about the science for Speaker Pelosi. It has always been about power and control.”

Van Duyne’s appeal made similar arguments, saying that the implementation of the mask mandate after the CDC loosed the guidelines was a “partisan, political issue, rather than one grounded in science.”

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