Politics Group of House GOP lawmakers remove masks in Chamber on Tuesday
Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans expected to vote on removing her from leadership
The vote is the result of weeks of drama among House Republicans, some who see Rep. Liz Cheney's criticism of Donald Trump as a distraction.Cheney, the third most-powerful House Republican, has angered some in the party for her repeated criticism of Trump and his claim the 2020 election was stolen from him. A vote behind closed doors and by secret ballot is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
WASHINGTON – A group of House GOP lawmakers refused to wear face masks on the floor during votes on Tuesday in defiance of leadership's rules regarding COVID-19 protocols.
House Democratsthat said members would be fined $500 on a first offense and $2,500 for a second offense if they did not wear a mask on the House floor.
The members Tuesday who refused to wear a mask first included Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., who was approached by a staff member of the House Sergeant of Arms during votes and did not put one on.
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The Wyoming Republican survived a Feb. 3 challenge to her leadership where secret ballots were used and members could speak for and against her.House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Cheney spoke to the members before they were asked to verbally state their preference for keeping Cheney as chair of the House GOP Caucus or letting her go, according to those attending the closed-door meeting. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., formally introduced the resolution to unseat Cheney,and in a matter of minutes she was removed from her post.
Then others started following suit.
Some of these included Rep Mary Miller, R-Il., who sat in the front row next to Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., neither donning a face covering.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Lauren Boebert of Colorado stood at the front of the chamber, talking and laughing.
Reps. Beth Van Duyne of Texas and Bob Good of Virginia sat amidst a sea of their masked colleagues, while Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., wheeled himself into the chamber with a face covering and whipped it off after he sat in a chair.
The confrontation follows loosened masked guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people who are fully vaccinated, even indoors, except in crowded indoor settings.
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However, not every House Republican is vaccinated.
Massie,is not vaccinated, tweeted repeatedly about the group of members not wearing masks. Massie in July of 2020. people still get vaccinated regardless of whether they have had coronavirus or not as experts still aren't sure how long the protection will last.
There are at least 8 of us now on the floor, openly ignoring Pelosi’s oppressive unconstitutional rule.— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie)
Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool.
End the oppression!— Marjorie Taylor Greene ???????? (@mtgreenee)
A few other members, such as Greene, will not say whether they have been vaccinated.
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At one point, when several of the maskless members had congregated near the front of the chamber, Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., approached them and confronted Massie about not wearing a mask. Massie could be heard responding: "I can't hear you" with the mask.
— Savannah Behrmann (@SavBehrmannDC)
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Vice Chair of the Committee on House Administration, then approached the group and spoke with Massie, Boebert, and Greene for an extended, heated conversation. Raskin then walked away, head shaking.
When asked what they spoke about, Raskin told USA TODAY that he was telling the group of Republicans that “100% of the Democrats have been vaccinated so the only reason we can’t take our masks off on the floor is because of them."
Raskin said the Republicans had responded they "were having a civil disobedience protest" to which he sarcastically compared them to "21st Century
The Republicans are doing "the House a disservice, the country a disservice. I think they'd be sending a much stronger message if they got vaccinated. If all of us were vaccinated, we can all take our masks off. That would be the message," he added.
Republicans fined $500 for not wearing face masks on House floor
Some House Republicans flaunted the rule to wear face masks on the chamber floor and three of them racked up $500 fines. Speaker Pelosi said rule stays until 100% lawmakers are vaccinated.'Best $500 I ever spent,' Republican Rep. Brian Mast told NBC News. He refused to put his mask on even after a member of the House Sergeant at Arms' office approached him on the chamber floor Tuesday evening, in full view of C-SPAN's camera, and asked him to wear one.
Raskin later told USA TODAY, "I’m not interested in them getting fined. I’m interested in them getting vaccinated.”
Afterwards, Mast told reporters it was the "best $500 I ever spent.” The group wouldn't elaborate on if they were all vaccinated or not.
POLITICOthat House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is planning a privileged motion on the mask rules Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Hong Kong legislature due to approve curbs on public vote .
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s legislature is expected Wednesday to change electoral laws to drastically reduce the public’s ability to vote for lawmakers and increase the number of pro-Beijing lawmakers making decisions for the city. Once approved, the amendments mean the city’s national security department will check the backgrounds of potential candidates for public office and a new committee will be set up to ensure those candidates are patriotic.The number of seats in Hong Kong's legislature will be expanded to 90, with 40 of them elected by a largely pro-Beijing election committee.