‘I cried out in pain’: DC police officer Daniel Hodges recounts when he was crushed by rioters between a door on January 6

daniel hodges
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges testifies during the opening hearing of the U.S. House (Select) Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021.

  • MPD officer Daniel Hodges recounted how rioters attacked him on January 6.
  • Hodges described the moment when he was crushed between a door frame of the Capitol.
  • “I was effectively defenseless,” Hodges said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges vividly recounted the physical abuse he faced while defending the Capitol on January 6 during a House hearing on Tuesday.

Hodges described the moment when rioters trampled the barriers of the Capitol and attempted to break into a building entrance, resulting in a viral video of him being crushed against a revolving door.

“My arms were pinned and effectively useless, trapped against either the shield on my left and the door frame on my right,” Hodges said. “With my posture granting me no functional strength or freedom of movement, I was effectively defenseless and gradually sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the mob.”

“Directly in front of me, a man sees the opportunity of my vulnerability, grabbed the front of my gas mask and used it to beat my head against the door,” Hodges continued. “He switched to pulling it off my head, the straps stretching against my skull and straining my neck.”

Hodges added that the man ultimately succeeded in removing his gas mask, leaving the police officer exposed to chemical irritants sprayed by the rioters.

Another man then grabbed Hodges’ baton and “bashed me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull,” Hodges said.

Video footage and photos of the violent scene show Hodges stuck between the doorway with a bloody lip.

The rioters, whom Hodges repeatedly referred to as “terrorists,” then started “pushing their weight forward, crushing me further against the metal door frame,” Hodges continued.

“At this point, I knew I couldn’t sustain much more damage and remain upright,” Hodges said. “At best, I would collapse and be a liability to my colleagues. At worst, be dragged out into the crowd and lynched.”

Hodges then said he resorted to do “the only thing that I could do and screamed for help.”

His yells were eventually heard by another police officer who was able to extricate him from the position. Hodges said he found water to decontaminate his face and “soon after” went back to the fight.

The DC police officer was one of four law enforcement officials on Capitol Hill on Tuesday who testified before a House select committee that is investigating the January 6 insurrection.

Hodges recounted other instances from that day when the rioters attacked him, including one man who “latched onto” his face and “got his thumb” in Hodges’ right eye, “attempting to gouge it out.”

“I cried out in pain and managed to shake him off before any permanent damage was done,” Hodges said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal until after the Senate passes a larger package

nancy pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

  • Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion package.
  • “We all know that more needs to be done,” she offered in an appearance on ABC on Sunday.
  • GOP Senator Rob Portman says Pelosi’s stance contradicts President Biden’s efforts to pass the bipartisan deal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Sunday in separate appearances on ABC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ohio Senator Rob Portman offered up opposing viewpoints on the timeline of passing a bipartisan infrastructure package.

Pelosi reinforced her stance to hold up the $1 trillion agreement as Democrats work to finalize a separate $3.5 trillion spending package, in hopes that they both get passed together.

“We are rooting for the infrastructure bill to pass, but we all know that more needs to be done,” she said.

During his own interview on ABC, Portman, a Republican and one of the leading negotiators on the bipartisan package, called Pelosi’s stance”entirely counter” to President Joe Biden’s commitment to bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate, adding that $1 trillion infrastructure bill “has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza (Pelosi’s) talking about.”

The $1 trillion infrastructure package contains a total of $579 billion in new spending dedicated to increasing broadband connections nationwide as well as updating bridges and roads.

Earlier in the week, however, Republican Senators voted against that same infrastructure bill they’d previously come to an agreement on with the White House, citing concerns over an extra $40 billion in IRS funding.

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Senator Lindsay Graham went further by encouraging Republican members to leave DC in efforts to prevent Senate Democrats from having the 51 senators required to operate, which is called a quorum.

If the Democrats are successful, the agreement would total $4.1 trillion in new spending, making it one of the largest spending bills ever advanced by Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package would pay for social program expansions including Medicare coverage for dental and vision care.

Leading senate negotiators Portman and Mitt Romney said they may be ready to vote on the $1 trillion package on Monday, after disagreements including the $40 billion in IRS spending are ironed out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bernie Sanders said he’d oppose a $3 trillion Democrat-only infrastructure plan since it’s ‘much too low,’ potentially setting up spending showdown with Manchin

Bernie Sanders
  • Sanders ruled out backing a Democrat-only infrastructure plan below $3 trillion.
  • “That’s much too low,” he told New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd.
  • It may set up a confrontation with centrists like Joe Manchin, who favor a smaller plan.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Bernie Sanders indicated that he would oppose a Democrat-only spending bill if its price tag didn’t top $3 trillion, brushing anything lower as too meager. It may set the stage for a confrontation between Sanders and moderate Democrats looking to restrain the size of a follow-up package.

In an interview with New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd published Saturday, the Vermont senator ruled out backing a party-line infrastructure plan that amounted to either $2 trillion or $3 trillion.

“That’s much too low,” he told Dowd. He also pulled out a list of his priorities for a reconciliation package.

They appeared to include broadband, climate, childcare, universal pre-K, paid family and medical leave, Medicare expansion and housing among others.

“Does anyone deny that our child care system, for example, is a disaster?” Sanders told Dowd. “Does anyone deny that pre-K, similarly, is totally inadequate? Does anyone deny that there’s something absurd that our young people can’t afford to go to college or are leaving school deeply in debt? Does anybody deny that our physical infrastructure is collapsing?”

Sanders’s remarks could potentially set up a showdown with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia as Democrats move ahead with a reconciliation spending package. Reconciliation is a legislative tactic Democrats are poised to use and circumvent Republicans because only a simple majority is needed for certain bills.

The party holds a narrow majority in the House and a 50-50 Senate that relies on a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. Every Senate Democrat must be onboard as a result or else the package fails.

Manchin has made clear he favors a party-line package that’s fully paid for with tax increases and doesn’t grow the national debt. He previously suggested a $2 trillion price tag.

“I’ve agreed that can be done. I just haven’t agreed on the amount,” he told MSNBC late last month. “I haven’t seen everything that everybody is wanting to put into the bill.”

As chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders wields enormous influence over reconciliation since the panel helps set overall spending levels. Senate Democrats are weighing up to $6 trillion in spending aimed at overhauling the economy with new initiatives in childcare, higher education, monthly cash payments to families, and clean energy programs.

Manchin along with a few other Senate Democrats like Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia have already balked at supporting $6 trillion in spending, making cuts likely.

President Joe Biden has already struck a $1 trillion infrastructure agreement with a centrist group of lawmakers concentrated on roads, bridges, and highways. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has dug in on not passing the plan until the Senate also approves a separate reconciliation package containing measures unlikely to draw Republican support.

It’s unclear whether it will ultimately pass, given Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t thrown his support behind it yet. For now, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Democrats to gear up for potentially long days ahead to kick off the reconciliation process before the August recess next month.

“Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do,” Schumer wrote Friday in a letter to Senate Democrats. “Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pelosi rebuffs McConnell’s demands on infrastructure, holding firm on clearing a Democrat-only social spending plan

Nancy Pelosi Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R).

  • Nancy Pelosi just brushed back Mitch McConnell’s demands on infrastructure.
  • She’s holding firm on her commitment to clear a bipartisan deal only after Senate Democrats approve a party-line bill.
  • The reconciliation package is poised to be full of social initiatives the GOP fiercely opposes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding firm on her commitment to not approve a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure agreement until a party-line package reaches the lower chamber.

“The statement that I made as such is the statement I stand by,” Pelosi told reporters at a press conference, adding that House Democrats are “very pleased” with the bipartisan deal struck between President Joe Biden and a group of centrist Senate Democrats and Republicans.

“What I said last week and I reiterate now is that in the House of Representatives, that particular version … is something that we’ll take up once we see what the budget parameters are,” she said.

Pelosi was turning down Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s demand to uncouple a bipartisan agreement that would pump money into roads, highways, and broadband from a Democratic-only spending plan. That follow-up package is poised to contain initiatives many Democrats favor, like paid leave and tuition-free community college.

Last week, Pelosi said House Democrats would not take up a bipartisan agreement unless the Senate clears a party-line package. Biden initially made the same commitment, but reversed himself after that triggered an uproar among Republicans.

House Democrats are starting to assemble an infrastructure package that will move through reconciliation, a laborious legislative path for certain budgetary bills. A reconciliation package can clear the Senate with only a simple majority of 51 votes, meaning every Democratic Senator must commit to it.

They’re also poised to approve a $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill on Thursday, which will likely serve as the starting point for House Democrats in negotiations with their Senate counterparts.

Politico Playbook reported on Wednesday that Biden won’t seek to renegotiate elements he’s already agreed on with the GOP, citing a White House official. Last week, as he touted the bipartisan agreement, the president said he wouldn’t attempt to add more Amtrak funding in a party-line spending package.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Senate voted unanimously to make Juneteenth a national holiday celebrating the end of slavery

People put their fists in the air as Lift Every Voice and Sing is performed at the intersection of H St NW and 16th Street NW near the White House, an area renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, while celebrating the Juneteenth holiday June 19, 2020
People put their fists in the air as Lift Every Voice and Sing is performed at the intersection of H St NW and 16th Street NW near the White House, an area renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, while celebrating the Juneteenth holiday June 19, 2020.

  • The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass legislation that would make Juneteenth a national holiday.
  • The bill was only able to pass after Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, ended his efforts to block it.
  • The bipartisan bill needs to be passed by the House and signed by President Joe Biden before it becomes law.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass legislation that would make June 19th, known as Juneteenth, a national holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US.

The bipartisan bill, authored by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Republican Sen. John Cornyn, will need to be passed by the House and signed by President Joe Biden before it becomes law, but the Senate’s vote marks a significant step forward in the years-long legislative effort.

“Happy that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday just passed the Senate. It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years,” Cornyn tweeted on Tuesday. “Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more perfect union.”

The bill was only able to pass after Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, ended his efforts to block it, conceding on Tuesday that few of his colleagues have an “appetite” to debate the issue. Johnson argued that it was too costly to give federal government employees an additional day off and has suggested the government remove a federal holiday in exchange for Juneteenth.

No senator objected to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request for unanimous consent, despite several Republican senators’ previously stated opposition to the legislation.

The Juneteenth holiday celebrates June 19, 1865, when a union general informed African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that they had been emancipated from slavery, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The day has been celebrated since the late 1800s. In 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a holiday, and now the vast majority of states recognize the day.

Federal lawmakers’ efforts to make Juneteenth a federal holiday gained significantly more momentum last year amid the nationwide protests following George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer.

There are a total of 10 existing federal holidays in the US, which amounts to far fewer annual paid days off than the US’s peer countries provide. It’s been almost 40 years since the federal government created the last national holiday: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

A federally recognized Juneteenth holiday would only technically apply to government employees, but private organizations often follow suit and give their workers the day off. A slew of private employers, including major corporations, made the day a paid holiday beginning last year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The White House is giving bipartisan infrastructure negotiations until the end of June even as progressive opposition swells

US Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speaks with reporters about potential efforts to raise the minimum wage at the US Capitol in Washington.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

  • The White House is giving bipartisan economic talks until the end of June for a deal to pan out.
  • Biden could potentially shift course and embrace a Democratic-only plan after that.
  • An emerging bipartisan framework is struggling to draw substantial Democratic support.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House officials are indicating to congressional Democrats that they’re giving bipartisan infrastructure negotiations until the end of June before potentially shoving Republicans aside and moving ahead with a Democratic-only plan.

It’s a fresh sign that the Biden administration’s patience is starting to wear thin at the slow pace of economic talks with the GOP. More than two months of back-and-forth discussions haven’t yielded a major breakthrough.

“They’re giving it a week or 10 days more and that’s about it,” House Budget chair John Yarmuth told reporters on Tuesday. “Then we move along with with reconciliation – for everything.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reconciliation, the legislative tactic that only requires a simple majority to pass certain bills, is increasingly favored by progressive Democrats, who want to combine President Joe Biden’s two-part plan into a massive $4 trillion bill and muscle it through both the House and Senate with only Democratic votes.

Many on the left fear Biden’s social spending proposals – such as paid family leave and universal pre-K – would not draw strong support from Democratic centrists in the Senate, and derail that part of the plan. But Biden is pursuing a deal and the White House is giving additional time for an agreement to be struck.

A bipartisan group encompassing 10 lawmakers from both parties is still drafting a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure plan, though key details remain unclear. It includes Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine.

The Democratic side comprises Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has come out in opposition to the emerging framework, saying its sources of revenue were not progressive enough. The group is eyeing indexing the gas tax to inflation, which may increase gas prices for average people, and repurposing stimulus funds from states.

“I wouldn’t vote for it,” Sanders told reporters on Monday. “The bottom line is there are a lot of needs facing this country. Now is the time to address those needs, and it has to be paid for in a progressive way, given the fact that we have massive income and wealth inequality in America.”

Other Democrats such as Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon are coming out against a plan that doesn’t contain aggressive measures to combat climate change.

“Put me down as skeptical of these theories that somehow you get everything you want, and somehow the priorities I have might be addressed down the road,” Wyden said Wednesday. Every lost Democratic vote means an additional Republican would be needed for the plan to clear the chamber – with a bare minimum of 10 GOP votes

Others are reserving judgment until more details emerge. “I got to look at it first,” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told Insider.

“I want to see it, how are the Republicans gonna pay for it?” Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, chair of the Banking Committee, told Insider. “I’ll see it, I don’t know yet.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

House committee to hold a public hearing on the January 6 insurrection in the wake of a 4th inspector general flash report

Zoe Lofgren
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during a House Administration Committee hearing on Oversight of the United States Capitol Police on Capitol Hill on Tuesday July 16, 2019

  • A House committee will discuss the findings of the fourth IG flash report on the Capitol siege.
  • The report found “disturbing inadequacies” in the USCP’s preparation and response to the attack, Rep. Lofgren said.
  • The House Administration Committee will hold its fifth public hearing on the January 6 riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The House Administration Committee will hold another public hearing on the Capitol riot in the wake of a flash report by the inspector general, which the chairwoman said revealed “disturbing inadequacies” in the Capitol Police’s preparation and response to the attack.

House Administration Chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren announced Wednesday that the committee will host its fifth hearing on the events of January 6 – more than any other congressional committee has held on the matter. The date of the hearing is yet to be set.

US Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton will appear at the hearing to discuss the findings of the latest flash report, which “identified significant deficiencies pertaining to the Department’s Containment and Emergency Response Team and First Responders Unit and made more than 20 recommendations,” according to a statement from Lofgren.

Lofgren said in the statement that Bolton’s “latest flash report reveals, again, disturbing inadequacies in the Department leadership’s preparation for, and response to, the January 6 attack.”

“Examining these latest findings and recommendations will assist the Committee as we contemplate reforms,” she continued.

The report also raised “such significant and troubling concerns” that Bolton delivered an urgent advisory to USCP leadership before the probe was fully complete.

The announcement of the House Administration Committee’s hearing comes after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

“Despite Senate Republicans’ shameful filibuster of a compromise, bipartisan bill to establish an independent commission to investigate the deadly insurrection and attack on the capitol, the American people deserve answers,” Lofgren said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who compared mask rules to the Holocaust, once said AOC ‘should be shamed’ for comparing migrant detention centers to concentration camps

marjorie taylor greene alexandria ocasio cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene once said invoking Nazi history is “insulting.”
  • Greene made the comments in a since-deleted 2019 Facebook live reported by CNN’s KFile.
  • Greene attacked AOC at the time for comparing migrant detention facilities to concentration camps.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been denounced for her repeated comparisons of mask-wearing and coronavirus vaccination efforts to the horrors suffered by Jews during the Holocaust, once said invoking Nazi history is “insulting” and “incomprehensible.”

According to CNN’s KFile, the Georgia Republican made the comments in a since-deleted 2019 Facebook live post, before she was a member of Congress.

Greene directed her remarks at Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who at the time had come under fire for tweeting that migrant detention facilities at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration function like concentration camps. “We are calling these camps what they are because they fit squarely in an academic consensus and definition,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

Several GOP lawmakers, including Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, criticized Ocasio-Cortez’s statements, while Democrats, such as Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, came to her defense.

Greene slammed Ocasio-Cortez at the time, saying the comparison is “just so disturbing,” per CNN.

“She should be shamed by everyone that she’s actually using those terms and making that comparison,” Greene said. “And I think it’s an embarrassment to our country that we actually have a congresswoman that would do such a thing. And I’m calling her out big time. I think everyone should call her out.”

“She should never, ever, make that comparison,” Greene continued. “It’s insulting, extremely insulting to the families who have family members that were murdered or survived concentration camps. And that just shows you a lot about who she is as a person. And then also anyone that agrees with her and the Democrat party.”

Greene’s newly-unveiled comments come as top House Republicans, including McCarthy, have condemned the congresswoman for her recent likening of mask-wearing and vaccine rules to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” Greene tweeted on Tuesday. “Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.”

The “gold star” reference, which historians more commonly refer to as a yellow star, was an identifier that Nazi Germany forced Jews to wear.

Greene said last week that the House mask mandate enforced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “exactly the type of abuse” Nazis committed against Jews.

McCarthy, the House minority leader, said on Tuesday that Greene’s language was “wrong” and “appalling.” At least one GOP lawmaker, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, has called for Greene’s expulsion from the House Republican conference.

Greene has since doubled down on her stances and used the controversy to attack Democrats, saying they are “reminiscent of the great tyrants of history.”

Greene’s office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Kevin McCarthy opposed the Capitol riot commission this week despite expressing support for one in January

US House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy
US House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

  • The House voted this week in favor of creating a commission to study the January 6 insurrection.
  • All but 35 Republicans voted against the measure, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
  • It’s a reversal of his January stance, in which he said a “fact-finding commission” would be “prudent.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted this week against creating a commission to study the events of the January 6 insurrection, despite publicly expressing support for such a commission in the past.

The House passed a bill Wednesday to establish the bipartisan commission in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats and voting in favor. Republican leadership, including McCarthy, came out in opposition to the bill.

McCarthy, a Republican from California, announced his position Tuesday, objecting to the bill because it did not include studying other unrelated instances of political violence. He also said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “refused to negotiate in good faith on basic parameters,” despite Pelosi agreeing to most of his demands, Insider’s Eliza Relman reported.

Read more: Meet Donald Trump’s next nemeses: The 15 prosecutors and investigators from New York who are primed to pepper the ex-president with history-making civil and criminal probes

“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” McCarthy said in a statement.

McCarthy and some other Republicans have argued the commission should also study violence associated with last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, while others, including GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, thought it should focus solely on the Capitol riot.

But in January, days after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters violently breached the Capitol and disrupted the certification of the election, McCarthy seemed to take a different stance.

As the top Republican in the House he said he would not vote to impeach Trump. Instead, he called for a “fact-finding commission” and a possible censure vote.

“Most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution,” McCarthy said, though surveys at the time indicated most Americans favored impeachment, NPR reported. “They want durable, bipartisan justice.”

He said Trump should take “immediate action” to “accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure that President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”

“The president’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy’s stance on Trump’s role in the riot also appears to have changed since then, when during a speech on the House floor the lawmaker explicitly said the president “bears responsibility” for the Capitol riot. But speaking on Fox News late last month, McCarthy defended Trump’s actions on January 6.

McCarthy has also soured on Cheney since January, when he initially defended her after she voted in favor of impeachment. Last week, he supported Cheney’s ouster from a House GOP leadership role over her ongoing criticism of Trump, instead endorsing Trump-loyalist Rep. Elise Stefanik for the spot.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Republican lawmakers face fines for defying mask rules on the House floor and haven’t revealed whether they’re vaccinated

marjorie taylor greene
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) arrives for a House Republican caucus candidate forum to replace outgoing conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at the Capitol on May 13, 2021.

  • Several Republican House members are openly defying mask-wearing rules on the House floor.
  • Most of these members won’t say whether they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Capitol physician said House members must continue wearing masks until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia refused to wear a face mask on the House floor on Wednesday, continuing her protest against mask-wearing requirements.

Greene isn’t alone. Several other Republican lawmakers also openly defied House rules on Tuesday evening, appearing maskless while casting votes on the floor, according to C-SPAN footage. The Capitol physician, Brian Monahan, decided last week that House members must continue wearing masks on the House floor until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.

Because at least 100 GOP House members haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s unclear whether they are violating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors. Nine of the 10 GOP lawmakers cited for violating the rules haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated, according to a recent CNN survey. Greene refuses to reveal whether she’s gotten the shot.

In accordance with House rules, Greene will receive a warning for her first violation, along with Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Chip Roy of Texas, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Mary Miller of Illinois, multiple news outlets reported.

GOP Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, who also flouted the rules and had already received their first warnings, will face a $500 fine, per the reports. Additional offenses would result in a $2,500 fine.

Under current rules, all House lawmakers must wear a face-covering on the floor except for when speaking, debating, or presiding over House proceedings. Fines for refusing to wear a mask were established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the wake of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, when several members sheltered-in-place together and many were maskless. At least a handful of lawmakers later tested positive for COVID-19.

Although the fine will be deducted from the member’s congressional salary, some lawmakers are calling on their supporters to make donations. Mast asked voters in an email to contribute to his “fight against Pelosi and the Washington Lockdown Cheerleading Squad” which is “going to get expensive FAST,” Punchbowl News reported on Wednesday. The Iowa Republican Party, on behalf of Miller-Meeks, also tweeted a donation link “to help us fight back and retire Pelosi in 2022.”

The GOP mask protest comes after the CDC last Thursday announced fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors at gatherings of any size, except in healthcare settings, on public transportation, at homeless shelters, and at airports. Private companies may still enforce mask mandates as they see fit.

Pelosi said last Thursday the House rule would stay in place despite the CDC’s guidance, noting not all lawmakers had been fully vaccinated yet.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to force a vote on a resolution to revise the mask guidelines on Wednesday night. But the resolution is expected to be tabled by Democrats.

“The continued House mask mandate sends the erroneous message that the efficacy of the vaccines cannot be trusted,” the GOP resolution says. “Members of the House of Representatives have a responsibility to send a message to the American people that we can trust the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines.”

Read the original article on Business Insider