Democrat Proposes $1K Fine for Members of Congress Refusing to Wear Masks

US Representative Debbie Dingell gives two thumb's up while Democratic Vice Presidential N
JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) on Tuesday proposed fining members of Congress who refuse to wear masks on Capitol grounds $1,000 a day.

Dingell’s legislation comes after three House members tested positive for the coronavirus following the breach of the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday when lawmakers were evacuated to one location, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The representative told the Free Press that at the time, several legislators were not wearing masks.

“It is not brave to refuse to wear a mask,” she said in a press release, adding, “It is selfish, stupid and shameful behavior that puts lives at risk.” Dingell continued:

Days ago, a colleague of ours died from this virus and left behind a beautiful, young family to mourn his loss. Yet still, in the midst of a deadly assault on our United States Capitol, a number of our Republican colleagues laughed off rules designed to keep not just their colleagues safe, but to protect the lives of the teams of workers keeping things going, law enforcement, and staff throughout the Capitol. Now, three of our colleagues are suffering from the virus.

“We’re done playing games. Either have some common sense and wear a damn mask or pay a fine. It’s not that complicated,” Dingell stated.

The legislation would amend House rules to fine members of Congress who do not wear a mask until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deems it safe to not wear one, the Free Press article read.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently allowed Democrats to break their quarantine to vote in the speakership election, Breitbart News reported on January 3:

At least three members, according to congressional reporter John Bresnahan, are breaking quarantine to attend swearing-in ceremonies and the all-important speakership election Sunday. Two of them are Democrats, he revealed, and one is a Republican. In addition to those three comes Rep. Gwen Moore (D-FL), attending the vote to back Pelosi after testing positive for the deadly virus just six days ago.

“Nancy Pelosi’s grip on the speakership is so tenuous that she is forcing members exposed to coronavirus to break quarantine and come to the Capitol to vote for her and protect her political power,” a senior GOP aide told the outlet.

Dingell introduced the legislation Tuesday with Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), the Free Press article concluded.


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