New Rule Would Require Mask-Wearing at Capitol

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed a new rule that would require that all members of Congress need to wear a mask while on the floor of the House. Failure to follow this rule would result in a fine of $500. The legislation is expected to easily pass the Democrat-controlled House. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Debby Dingell of Michigan. Dingell said that the legislation is designed to punish the selfish behavior of her colleagues that puts the health of others at risk.

Why the Proposed Rule?

The proposed rule comes after three Democrats allege that they contracted the COVID-19 virus during last week’s attack on the Capitol. All three of the representatives said that they were forced to shelter in place with their Republican colleagues, some of whom were not wearing masks. The three Democrats that tested positive shortly after the January 6 attacks are Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.

It should be noted that none of these cases can be definitively traced back to the Capitol. There has been no evidence that the unmasked Republicans have also tested positive for the virus.

Details of Fine

The new legislation would levy a $500 fine for a first offense. Subsequent violations will be fined $2,500. In addition, members of Congress would also face a fine of $1,000 if they refuse to wear a facial covering while at the U.S. Capitol.