Republican resistance to House mask mandates has trickled down to the staff level, with unmasked
About 100 ‘unmasked Republican staffers’ could be seen at an end-of-the-day party inside the corridors of the Rayburn House Office building Thursday, in images posted by a Democratic staffer.
According to an aide to Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia who Tweeted the image, the staffers were ‘crammed together in a narrow hallway’ on the second floor of the Rayburn building – ‘almost all unmasked.’
Unmasked aides gathered in the House Rayburn Office Building and defied an indoor mask mandate
Pre-congressional recess parties in the hallways where aides put on long hours aren’t out of the ordinary – although in this case the 20-something aides were taking a page from elected Republicans in skirting the latest mask guidance put out by the Capitol Physician and enforced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Lawmakers have their names posted outside their congressional offices.
It came on a day a group of elected Republicans raged at the mandates on the House floor and defied them inside the building, even posing in the Capitol rotunda.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged fully vaccinated individuals ‘wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.’
Staffers engaged in a game of corn hole as the House prepared to go on its annual August recess
The party featured ‘water pong’ and corn hole, and red plastic cups – but few signs of masks
Aaron Fritschner, an aide to Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, posted the images. The post drew thousands of retweets
The Capitol physician made different recommendations for the Senate, where substantially more senators have been vaccinated, than in the House, where fewer than half of elected Republicans said they had been vaccinated this spring.
The staffers pictured in business dress could be seen lined up around rectangular tables with plastic cups filled with water in a recreation of ‘beer pong’ games at frats and house parties.
The aides stood closely together. Some lobbed sacs down the marble hallways in a game of corn hole.
Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert was one of the lawmakers seen not wearing a mask on the House floor Wednesday
Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., walks through the Ohio Clock Corridor to the Senate chamber as a group of maskless Republican members of Congress made their way to the Senate in the Capitol on Thursday, July 29, 2021. The members were drawing attention to different mask rules on the House and Senate sides of the Capitol
Conservative Republican lawmakers gathered in the rotunda to march to the Senate side of Capitol, which does not have a face mask policy
Republicans in the House of Representatives on Thursday vowed to defy a requirement that visitors and staff wear masks inside the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen above on Wednesday
‘This institution is a sham, and we should adjourn and shut this place down,’ fumed Rep. Chip Roy of Texas Thursday on the House floor Thursday as a maskless Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene stood up to applaud.
Roy and Greene were reportedly joined by more than a dozen members of the House in defying the mask mandate, including Republican lawmakers Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs and
‘It’s absolutely absurd what this body is doing, the people’s house,’ Roy yelled to his fellow lawmakers. ‘While we’ve got thousands of people pouring across our border, and Democrats don’t do a darn thing about it, heavily infected with COVID.’
The Hill hall party action came on a day U.S. Capitol Police backed down and said they would ask people in the House not wearing a face mask to leave after Republican lawmakers blasted a memo that stated such individuals would be arrested.
The agency did not specifically rule out arrests, but did say it should never come to that.
‘Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. The Department’s requirement for officers to wear masks is for their health and safety,’ US Capitol Police tweeted in a statement.
A group of House conservative lawmakers gathered in the Capitol Rotunda without wearing face masks in one staged protest. ‘Arrest us,’ one shouted as their maskless staff recorded them to post the event to social media.
The GOP lawmakers marched to the Senate side of the Capitol, which does not have a face mask requirement. Nearly 100 per cent of the Senate is vaccinated.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told reporters they walked across the Capitol building ‘for a taste of freedom.’
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that masks will be required indoors throughout the District, including for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.