Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats reject short-term deal ahead of unemployment deadline GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi mask mandate for Trump House to test GOP loyalty with election tweet and MORE stimulus strategyThe need for a new mask (D-Calif.) For the floor of the House had its intended effect Thursday: For once, there was universal compliance effectively.
The new requirement came after Rep. Louie GohmertLawmakers Louis (Louie) Buller GohmertGOP complies with Pelosi mask’s mandate for House floor ENERGY OVERNIGHT: EPA rule extends ash pond life toxic Action lawsuit in Flint class against Mich officials Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says safe vaccine development is crucial; The United States exceeds 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughly more deaths (R-Texas) tested positive for coronavirus the day before, leaning lawmakers and staff at the Capitol complex.
Gohmert was among the fist of Republicans in the House who were resistant to wearing masks despite the recommendations of public health experts that surface coating is an effective way to prevent the spread of drops. viral.
Many of those lawmakers who did not consistently wear masks represent states that are currently hot spots of coronavirus, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.
But on Thursday, every Republican on the floor of the House wore a mask. Floor workers also enforced compliance by telling members to pull masks that were slipping under their noses.
However one GOP legislator did not fully follow the rules.
At one point, Rep. Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanGOP-Trump Fractures on the top conservative opening masks with a pen letter to Trump with concerns about the fourth account of the coronavirus relief bill are popular – for good reason MORE (R-Wis.) He would take a phone call – which no one was supposed to make while sitting in the room – with his mask under his chin.
A young woman quickly approached Grothman, who initially ignored her. But once an elderly senior man intervened, Grothman got up and left. He returned back to the House room with his mask on.
Pelosi warned while announcing the new policy from the floor of the House on Wednesday evening that any legislator or staff without a mask would not be allowed to enter the chamber and risk being removed from the sergeant-at-arms if they did not comply.
Some Democrats called for needing masks on the floor of the House weeks ago, long before Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19. But they said it’s better late than never.
“One would have hoped this had been done as a matter of common decency, but obviously we needed a rule,” Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinLegislators comply with Pelosi mask’s mandate to floor Five House takeaways as CEOs’ board grills Lawmakers face in hearing technology antitrust: ‘Put on your mask!’ MORE (D-Md.). “I’m very happy that the Speaker did what he did. I’m sorry he had to do that.”
“It’s a scandalous situation that comes to make members sick and potentially expose everyone,” Raskin added. “Everyone nervous.”
As recently as Tuesday, Gohmert participated in several committee meetings on Capitol Hill, sometimes without a mask. He has sometimes been wearing a surface coat in recent weeks, but also on some occasions mixed with Republican partners in the House floor without one.
The mask requirement, which officially went into effect Thursday morning, applies to both the floor of the House and the surrounding office buildings. A memo for lawmakers and staff from Arms Sergeant Paul Irving and Capitol doctor Brian Monahan said anyone without a mask “will be asked to sit face to face or leave the building.”
However, lawmakers do not have to wear masks while being recognized as speaking on the floor of the House or in committees.
Pelosi had previously started asking for masks at committee meetings in June. That directive came after another GOP legislator spotted around the Capitol without a mask – Rep. Ross RossHugh (Tom) Thompson RicePelosi need masks on the floor of the House Multiple lawmakers who are quarantine loans after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (SC) – tested positive for coronavirus.
The chairmen of the Democratic House committee stopped forcing some unmasked members to leave the hearing. But some presidents have established policies that refuse to give time to speak to any member who does not wear a mask. However, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.), who chairs the select committee on the coronavirus crisis, threatened last month to stop holding personal hearings if members of the -GOP remain not wearing masks.
GOP House leaders made a point of approving the use of the mask and reviewed safety precautions during a conference meeting with their members on Thursday. Masks were needed for the meeting itself.
“I think we should all wear masks,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyLawmakers Kevin Owen McCarthyGOP complies with Pelosi mask’s mandate for the floor of The Memo House: Trump’s real goal is the legitimacy of the election Hill’s Campaign Report : Trump faces pressure after suggesting election may be delayed MORE (R-Caliph.) He told reporters.
During the conference meeting, McCarthy also addressed complaints from staff that several GOP lawmakers, including Gohmert, were forcing their employees to work in person during the pandemic and it was reported that the mask was discouraged in their offices. .
McCarthy advised his members to check with their staff why they should not assume they are comfortable working in the office, according to a source in the room.
Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi mask mandate for Hillicon Valley House floor: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces fast bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports Senators call on Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump faces pushback after suggesting election may be delayed MORE (Ill.), The top Republican on the House Administration Committee, also presented a presentation at the meeting on the health and safety precautions that congressional offices should follow.
Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19 while screening at the White House on Wednesday morning before a planned trip to Texas with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels review to buy messaging strategy: Nunes report refuses to answer whether it has received information from Ukrainian legislator intended to harm Biden Poll: Plurality of voters of ‘Gen Z’ say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE.
If Gohmert had not been tested at the White House, he would probably have spent another day on Capitol Hill carrying the virus without showing any symptoms and coming into contact with others.
Pelosi and Leader of the Senate Majority Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi mask mandate for Hillicon Valley House of Commons: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces quick bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports Senators call on Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy MORE (R-Ky.) He turned down an offer from the White House in May for a similar testing system to Congress because they wanted to direct resources to front-line workers. But McCarthy, Davis and others argue that the decision should be reconsidered.
“There is no other place that has this responsibility at this size that is being managed this way. I don’t understand,” McCarthy said.
Gohmert’s diagnosis quickly set off a chain reaction of fellow lawmakers, staff and journalists rushing for self-quarantine and being tested.
The number of lawmakers who announced they were quarantining themselves after exposure to Gohmert this week continued to grow on Thursday. At this point, at least four of Gohmert’s colleagues are self-insulating: Reps. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) lawmakers Kay GrangerGOP complies with Pelosi mask’s mandate for The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Gohmert’s positive tests; Security fears escalate over Louisiana Republican Self-quarantining after exposure to MORE (R-Texas), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonLouisiana Republican self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Pelosi who need masks on the floor of the House Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert MORE (R-La.) U Jody didJody Brownlow HiceGOP lawmakers comply with mandate of Pelosi mask for the House of the Sea given posthumous tributes by GOP COVID-19 Gohmert introduces resolution banning the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.).
Granger sat next to Gohmert during a flight from their home state on Sunday, while Johnson had dinner with Gohmert on Monday. Grijalva, meanwhile, chaired a meeting of the Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday which was attended by Gohmert at the protesters’ Police Management Park in Lafayette Square last month.
In addition, Gohmert briefly came in contact with the Attorney General William BarrLawmakers Bill BarrGOP complies with the mandate of Pelosi’s mask for the FBI’s Office of the Land House that hid copies of Russia’s probe documents fearing Trump’s interference: a book of the A Court of Appeals will be the case again on Flynn MORE charges on Tuesday outside the chamber where Barr testified before the Judiciary Committee of the Chamber. They both appeared in a congress hall without masks on it.
A spokesman for the Justice Department confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday that Barr will be tested for coronavirus on the same day. Testing a subject one day after exposure to COVID-19 increases the likelihood of a false negative.
The Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), President of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was among lawmakers who have appeared on the floor in recent weeks without a mask. But on Thursday, Biggs was wearing a mask adorned with his state flag, keeping it worn out and up.
“I don’t think any of us have ever denied that it’s true,” Biggs said about the coronavirus.
Juliegrace Brufke contributed.