The New York Post reports, several Republican members of Congress disregarded new guidance and did not wear face marks during Thursday’s debate on the House floor Thursday, sparking a feud with Democrats.
As protests broke out across the country, including in nearby Annapolis and Richmond, calling for the economy to reopen, house members returned for a morning debate to Capitol Hill to vote on a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill, after nearly a month away from Washington.
Some Republicans left their mouths and noses uncovered, while some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dropped their coverings while speaking.
“Democrats nearly all entered the chamber wearing either bandannas or masks — of many colors. At least two were orange. One wore a mask embroidered with a sparkly sequin flag,” according to the New York Post.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) lashed out at Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a close ally of President Donald Trump, who was seen on the House floor without a mask during a debate on the creation of a special committee to oversee the trillions of dollars allocated for coronavirus relief.
“People can do what they want to do,” McGovern scolded. “But while we all want to show how fearless we are, we should be mindful of the people that are surrounding us. And so until I’m advised otherwise, I’m going to keep my mask on.”
“While face coverings are not mandatory, they are certainly recommended,” McGovern said. “The Office of the Attending Physician has also advised that a face cover will produce a minimal reduction in sound when using a microphone. The face covering is most useful in reducing viral spread while speaking.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) arrived on the House floor without masks, as did many GOP peers.
“Nice mask!” a colleague told Scalise.
“Thanks! I wear it for Halloween, too!” the second-ranking Republican said, laughing.
Those who did not wear masks included Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), James Comer (R-Ky.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas).
During House votes last month, many New York Democrats ignored guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urged a 14-day self-quarantine for people recently in the New York metro area.