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3 House Republicans Lose Their Mask-Fine Appeals

Trio consists of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Thomas Massie, and Ralph Norman
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2021 9:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Three Republican House members have lost appeals challenging fines for not wearing face coverings on the House floor earlier this year. On Tuesday, the House Ethics Committee released statements noting that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina had failed in their appeals of $500 fines issued in May, reports the AP. The Republicans challenged the fines in June, arguing that the mandate was out of sync with recent federal guidance on face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vote in question happened a week after the CDC issued guidance noting that "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing."

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At the time, face coverings were still required on the floor, a mandate put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in June 2020. Even after the updated CDC guidance in May, Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician, wrote that "mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated." "I voted on the House floor without wearing my mask," Norman wrote. "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." In her appeal, Greene called the fine "arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not consistent with law or with principles of fairness." The requirement was lifted on June 11.

(Read more Marjorie Taylor Greene stories.)

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