A gaggle of Republican members of Congress has walked over to the Senate facet of the Capitol in protest over the masks mandate imposed by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) underneath risk of arrest and fines.
Refusing to put on face coverings, the group gathered within the Capitol rotunda for a photo-op on Thursday afternoon, earlier than continuing to the Senate chambers to listen to a speech by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) denouncing the brand new masks mandates as unconstitutional and unscientific.
The wheelchair-bound Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina), Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Louie Gohmert and Chip Roy of Texas had been among the many insurgent Republicans.
Movies from contained in the Capitol present the group posing for pictures and strolling to the Senate chambers.
Earlier, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) additionally went over to the Senate facet in protest over the brand new Home guidelines by “Queen” Pelosi, as he referred to as the speaker.
“Would possibly as nicely come into my workplace and arrest my total employees,” Massie had tweeted earlier within the day. “We aren’t carrying masks… the doctor and the chief of police don’t have this authority.”
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A memo circulated by Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger on Wednesday instructed officers to take away any guests and employees who refused to put on masks from the constructing, and arrest them for illegal entry in the event that they refuse.
Capitol Cops had been additionally ordered to file a report with the Home sergeant-at-arms if any members of Congress refuse to conform, so they might be topic to fines.
Pelosi first mandated face masks on the Home flooring final 12 months, citing the Covid-19 pandemic, and finally prolonged that rule even to individuals talking contained in the chamber. The restriction was lifted in Could, as a part of the Biden administration’s push to encourage vaccinations – however reinstated this week, amid claims that the Delta variant of the virus was inflicting circumstances throughout the US to surge.
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