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huffpost – Members of the house face fines for not wearing a face mask

The House is expected to pass a rule Tuesday night fining lawmakers hundreds of dollars if they refuse to wear a face mask on the floor.

They will face a fine of $ 500 the first time they break the rule and $ 2,500 the second time. The money will be deducted from their salary.

A House Democratic aide who shared the plans said the measure would be part of a procedural vote when the chamber reconvenes Tuesday night to consider the resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment declaring the president unfit to sit.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Set up a mask mandate for the House floor in June, but it has not imposed any monetary sanctions so far.

Three Democratic lawmakers have tested positive for COVID-19 after being locked up with GOP colleagues who refused to wear masks during the Jan.6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. These Democrats have blamed Republicans for spreading the virus, although it remains unclear if this is really how they contracted it.

When a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump passed the building, officials rushed a number of lawmakers, reporters and staff to a secure and undisclosed location.

More than 100 people were in the room together for several hours, a source who was there at HuffPost said. At least nine members of the Republican House did not wear masks for long periods of time, according to the source as well as the video from lawmakers.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Who announced her positive diagnosis on Tuesday, denounced the “selfish idiocy” of her unmasked colleagues and called for “heavy fines … to every member who refuses to wear a mask at the Capitol. . “

In another change to the House floor after the events of January 6, everyone – including the members themselves – will have to go through metal detectors before entering the room.

“Magnetometers are placed at certain entrances to the House,” Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett wrote on Tuesday in a note to lawmakers and their staff. “Failure to screen or transport prohibited items could result in denial of access to the Chamber. Members are reminded that under the firearms regulations that members received on opening day, firearms are reserved for a Member’s office. “

The decision to force members to go through metal detectors before entering the floor is a change of some historical significance. Since the start of Congress, lawmakers have been exempt from the same safety protocols that govern the general public.

But with some MPs swearing to carry guns in the District of Columbia – which is illegal – the House is taking this unprecedented step.

Democratic MPs on a security briefing on Monday expressed concern over allowing lawmakers to enter the House floor or attend next week’s inauguration, without passing by a magnetometer. The House acted quickly on Tuesday, posting metal detectors in front of a number of ground entrances.

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