Democrats want to fine colleagues $1,000 a day if they refuse to wear a mask on Capitol grounds

If the Ethics committee “determines that any Member, Delegate or Resident Commissioner” is in violation, the committee “shall fine such individual $1,000 for each day that such violation occurs,” according to the text of the bill.

It’s a move that comes as at least three Democratic House members — Reps. Brad Schneider (Ill.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) — revealed within 24 hours that they tested positive for coronavirus after being among dozens who sheltered in a committee room last Wednesday as a pro-Trump mob stormed the building. Several Republicans in the room refused to wear a mask.

“It is not brave to refuse to wear a mask, it is selfish, stupid, and shameful behavior that puts lives at risk,” Dingell stated in a assertion first despatched to The Washington Post.

She cited the latest lack of a member-elect from the virus. Luke Letlow, a 41-year-old congressman-elect from Louisiana, died from problems due to coronavirus days earlier than he would have been sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

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

Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician to Congress and the Supreme Court, wrote to members on Sunday warning that those who sheltered together as rioters stormed the Capitol may have been exposed to someone with the virus. Two House aides confirmed to The Washington Post over the weekend that Monahan was referring to a room where dozens of House members went during the attack.

Footage first printed by Punchbowl News last week showed maskless Republicans— including Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Michael Cloud (Tex.), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) and Scott Perry (Pa.) — who also refused to take masks that were offered by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) while in the room.

Now, Dingell and Brown are among a handful of lawmakers calling for penalties for lawmakers who don’t wear face coverings, and for the House to take a stronger stance on enforcing protocols within the Capitol as the pandemic continues.

In her Monday statement announcing her diagnosis, Jayapal said she was “also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol.”

“Additionally, any member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms,” she said. “This shouldn’t be a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are in danger, and anybody who refuses to wear a mask must be absolutely held accountable for endangering our lives due to their egocentric idiocy.”

In his statement, Schneider stated members “that flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the Sergeant at Arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues.”

“We can no longer tolerate members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them,” Schneider stated.

All three who not too long ago examined constructive, together with 75-year-old most cancers survivor Watson Coleman, pointed fingers at their maskless colleagues in saying their diagnoses. In a Tuesday tweet, Watson Coleman implored “anyone who sheltered at the Capitol during the attack to get tested.”

Dingell and Brown’s laws, which to date has 15 Democratic cosponsors, would require mask-wearing within the Capitol complicated till the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspends its suggestions for carrying masks inside buildings.

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