The House Ethics Committee upheld $500 fines levied three Republican lawmakers who defied the House mask mandate earlier this year.
The story: The House Ethics Committee released statements on Tuesday saying Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Ralph Norman (R-SC) failed in their appeals of $500 fines.
They will all have $500 subtracted from their paychecks.
The lawmakers argued that the mask mandate was inconsistent with federal guidance on mask-wearing. They were fined a week after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention updated its recommendations, saying that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”
Greene’s appeal claimed that “those who are vaccinated… [or have] overcome COVID-19 are conferred immunity to the virus.” She called the fine “arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not consistent with law or with principles of fairness.”
“I voted on the House floor without wearing my mask,” Norman argued. “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.”
However, the rule requiring all lawmakers to wear face coverings in the House chamber, which was introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was still in place.
Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician, said at the time that “mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated.”
How we got here: Greene, Massie, and Norman were among nearly a dozen lawmakers who took their masks off in protest of the mask mandate, which has since been lifted. Monahan announced on June 11 that fully vaccinated members, staff, and chamber visitors do not have to wear face coverings in the House chamber.
A total of six lawmakers were fined for their actions.
Not a first: The fines for Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), as well as Rep. Marianne Miller-Meeks (R-IA) were upheld last month.
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