House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing heavy opposition from Republicans who are fed up with being fined for violating her arbitrary rules for the lower chamber.
The Washington Times reports that a handful of House Republicans have promised to fight hard against Pelosi’s rules mandating that they wear masks on the House floor and submit to a security screening before entering.
The speaker has imposed fines amounting to thousands of dollars for violating these rules, but some in the GOP are reportedly making the case that these fines — which are pulled directly from a lawmaker’s salary — are unconstitutional.
Other Republicans have charged that they were wrongly hit with fines for acts that they felt weren’t in violation of Pelosi’s mandates.
“Trampling on our…rights”
Among those feeling cheated is Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican who was reportedly left baffled when the House Ethics Committee let his Democrat colleague, Rep. James Clyburn (SC), off the hook for an act similar to one he faced a fine for.
Clyde has urged the Ethics panel to reconsider and even threatened to go to court over the matter if it’s not resolved internally.
“I welcome the Committee on Ethics to reconsider my case based on their most recently established precedents,” he told the Times in a statement. “Should they choose not to reconsider, I am eager to have my day in court to stop Democrats from further trampling on our cherished Constitutional rights.”
“Power and control”
The Times also spoke with Florida Republican Brian Mast, who has similarly been hit with a fine over violating Pelosi’s mask rule.
“I am appealing Speaker Pelosi’s $500 fine because I was in full compliance with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance and it is unlawful,” Mast said of the mask mandate. “It has never been about following the science for Speaker Pelosi. It has always been about power and control.”
Pelosi first imposed her rule requiring masks on the House floor last summer. Violators were to be fined $500 for a first offense, and $2,500 for their second, the Times reported.
The security screening requirements, which forced lawmakers to walk through metal detectors each time they entered the floor for debate, were established following a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Violators of that rule reportedly face a $5,000 fine for the first breach, and $10,000 for their second.
If Republicans have their way, however, those fines — and Pelosi’s continued control of Congress — will soon be a thing of the past.