Nancy Pelosi and the United States House Democrats are enacting new mask rules that all chamber members will be expected to follow. The House Building Commission is considering implementing new mask rules in areas that they control. Lawmakers included the changes in the bill passed on January 12, asking Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Any member of the United States House of Representatives caught on the floor without a mask will receive a $500 fine for their first offense. The second and subsequent offenses will cost the member $2,500. Members cannot pay these fines out of any fund gotten through donations, such as their campaign funds. They also cannot pay them through their expense accounts.
Masks at All Times
Pelosi also expanded the rules so that lawmakers cannot take the masks off when they are speaking on the chamber’s floor. Previously, many members who wore masks took them off when speaking, mostly if television cameras were present. Pelosi says that she will not recognize any person that is not wearing a mask.
Several members of the Democratic party have spoken out after the capital seizure when Republican lawmakers refused to wear personal protective equipment that was offered to them. Since that date, three lawmakers have tested positive for COVID. In all, 36 lawmakers have tested positive for the virus while others have shown to have the antibodies left by COVID-19 in their bloodstreams.
Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who tested positive, said that she blames Republicans for her getting the virus. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider issued similar sentiments after also testing positive. While they seem convinced this is how they got the virus, there really is no way to know for certain that Republicans were the cause.