On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to keep the chamber’s mask requirement in place indefinitely, despite the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declaring last week that masks are no longer required for vaccinated individuals, according to Politico.
After the CDC’s announcement last Thursday, Republicans in the House proposed a bill that would lift the mask mandate imposed on the lower house by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has demanded that all members wear a mask inside the chamber unless they are giving a speech. The measure, spearheaded by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), was defeated in a party-line vote of 218 to 210.
The Office of the Attending Physician of the House has claimed, falsely, that keeping the mandate in place for the House floor is in accordance with CDC guidelines. The CDC’s announcement last Thursday declared that all vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks or socially distance, either indoors or outdoors. Despite this, Pelosi announced the next day that she would be keeping the mask mandate in place, while also extending the House’s proxy-vote system to July 3rd, in order to accommodate members’ various travel plans.
Yesterday, a group of around a dozen Republican members of the House staged a protest on the floor of the House by refusing to wear masks inside the chamber. Among those involved were Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). The group was verbally berated by several Democratic members but refused to back down, even though disobeying Pelosi’s orders constitutes hefty fines; each member who refuses to wear masks on the House floor is charged $500 for the first offense, and $2,500 for the second offense.