Republican Rep. Brian Mast sent a letter to Chair of the House Ethics Committee Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and ranking member Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., asking them to consider his appeal for the $500 fine that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave him for not wearing a mask in the lower chamber.
Mast was one of the three House Republicans who Pelosi fined last week for refusing to don a face covering on the House floor according to chamber rules because he is fully vaccinated. Under the newest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, fully vaccinated people may choose not to wear a face covering, but the Democrat speaker is still threatening members of Congress who do not mask up with monetary penalties that increase with every violation.
This threat of punishment, Mast argues, is unfair and unscientific.
“I am appealing Speaker Pelosi’s $500 fine because I was in full compliance with the CDC guidance and it is unlawful,” Mast said in a statement. “The scientists at the CDC told us if you are fully vaccinated, you can go about your life without wearing a mask or physically distancing. So, that’s what I’m doing. It has never been about following the science for Speaker Pelosi. It has always been about power and control.”
Not only does Mast say he “was in full compliance” with the recommendations for fully vaccinated people but he also says the speaker’s rule about masks violates the Constitution, which makes the fine “without merit and unenforceable.”
Despite her refusal to roll back House rules to comply with the new science on masks, Pelosi greeted dozens of her fellow maskless Democrats at the White House on Thursday. She was one of the many Democrat legislators and officials who attended a crowded ceremony in the East Room of the White House to watch President Joe Biden sign the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. In a video of the event, Pelosi is seen shaking hands and brushing shoulders with multiple people in what looks like a pre-pandemic scene.
“Maskless hugs and handshakes are back in at the White House,” The Recount captioned the video.
Maskless hugs and handshakes are back in at the White House. pic.twitter.com/KWtgZ68r4v
— The Recount (@therecount) May 20, 2021