News & Politics

Democratic Lawmakers Want to Fine Politicians Who Refuse to Wear Masks

The proposed $1,000 fine comes after several members got Covid after, they said, sheltering with maskless peers during the Capitol mob attack.

Photograph by Arend Vermazeren via Flickr.

House Democrats have introduced a bill that would force lawmakers who refuse to wear a mask in the Capitol complex to pay a $1,000 fine. This comes after at least three Democratic lawmakers tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering with Republicans they say refused to wear masks during the Capitol mob attack last week.

Congressional members Debbie Dingell and Anthony G. Brown introduced the bill on January 12, which would fine non-mask wearers for each day they do not comply with the mandate.

So far, Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pramila Jayapal, and Brad Schneider have announced they tested positive after the Capitol mob attack. Punchbowl News footage from last Wednesday shows Republican lawmakers like Scott Perry, Michael Cloud, Markwayne Mullin, and Andy Biggs turning down masks while sheltering in the Capitol complex.

The issue of mask-wearing has been a point of contention prior to the attack on the Capitol, though, and with enforcements looming, it seems masks could become a new form of political billboard.

Earlier this month, Republican congresswoman and QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene refused to wear a mask at her swearing-in. But after reporter Jake Sherman tweeted that her refusal created a “screaming match” on the House floor, Taylor Greene responded with a picture of her wearing a “Trump won” mask.

And Taylor Greene apparently wore a mask January 12 emblazoned with the Greek phrase “Molon Labe,” which has been adopted by Second Amendment supporters and QAnon followers.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.