Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) wants to put unmasked House members in a box — literally.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Clark is asking the sergeant at arms of the House of Representatives, William Walker, to require lawmakers who forego masks to attend the floor from isolation boxes in the gallery.
Members already face fines for entering the House floor without wearing a mask. The first offense costs $500, while subsequent instances of noncompliance cost a whopping $2,500.
"Unfortunately, these fines have proven insufficient to prevent some Members from repeatedly violating this commonsense rule," Clark wrote in the letter to Walker. "In fact, two House members alone have accumulated more than $100,000 in fines over the last year. This callous disregard for House rules endangers the health of Members of Congress and the professional staff whose physical presence is required to ensure continuity of government."
"That is why, in addition to imposing fines, I am requesting that your office begin requiring Members who fail to comply with this rule to attend the House floor from the isolation boxes in the House Gallery. These boxes were designed to minimize the risk of exposure to quarantined Members, yet those who refuse to mask pose the same or higher risk of exposing individuals around them to COVID," Clark declared.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told Newsmax last week that she has been fined nearly $90,000.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) has racked up at least $58,000 in fines related to the mask requirement, according to The Hill. The outlet also said that multiple other legislators have been slapped with at least one fine.