House Ethics Panel Forces Marjorie Taylor Greene To Pay $500 Mask Fine
The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday rejected appeals by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) against $500 fines for repeatedly refusing to wear masks on the House floor in May.
Each appeal failed to get support from a majority of the panel, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
Greene, Massie and Norman were among nearly a dozen lawmakers – six of whom were fined – who refused to wear masks on the floor in May to protest the ongoing mask mandate, which has since been lifted.
The fines were upheld last month for Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas), as well as Rep. Marianne Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), who did not file an appeal.
Greene’s appeal argued “those who are vaccinated… [or have] overcome COVID-19 are conferred immunity to the virus,” though the vaccines have not been found to be 100% effective, and Greene has not revealed publicly if she’s been infected or vaccinated.
Asked during a press conference on Tuesday if she’s been vaccinated, Greene said the question is “a violation of my HIPAA rights,” referring to a law that requires health care providers to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information about patients, and which does involve journalists.
Forbes has reached out to spokespeople for Massie and Norman for comment.
Greene told Forbesshe pointed out in an Ethics Committee hearing that four of the five Democrats on the panel – Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and chair Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) – have cosponsored a resolution to expel her from Congress. “I asked for them to recuse themselves,” Greene added, calling it a “conflict of interest.”
What To Watch For
The House may reinstitute the mask mandate amid a new outbreak of the Delta variant of coronavirus. Brian P. Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, said in an update to staff on Tuesday, “Future developments in the coronavirus Delta variant local threat may require the resumption of mask wear for all as now seen in several counties in the United States.”