Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie blasted the U.S. Capitol Police chief’s announcement that anyone refusing to comply with the House’s mask mandate is subject to arrest while taking a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger announced in a Thursday bulletin that Capitol Police, in compliance with Speaker Pelosi’s renewed mask mandate, are directed to arrest any staff member or visitor of the building who refuses an officer’s request to wear a mask inside the building.
Massie called the rule “INSANE” and refused to follow the mask mandate in a Thursday tweet.
“This is INSANE. Might as well come into my office and arrest my entire staff,” Massie tweeted. “We are not wearing masks. I support the Capitol Hill Police, but the Chief of Police made a mistake here. The physician and the chief of police don’t have this authority.”
This is INSANE. Might as well come into my office and arrest my entire staff. We are not wearing masks. I support the Capitol Hill Police, but the Chief of Police made a mistake here. The physician and the chief of police don’t have this authority. https://t.co/CgiSuNvE8c
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 29, 2021
The House’s mask mandate returned after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines on July 27, suggesting that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors to protect against the Delta variant. (RELATED: Heating Up The COVID Crackdown, Capitol Police Asked To Arrest Congressional Aides Who Aren’t Wearing Masks)
Capitol Police will work with the House Division to “enforce the mask mandate in all House Office Buildings and Committee meetings,” the bulletin stated. A person that does not follow the rule will be charged with “Unlawful Entry.”
“If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to the House Office Buildings or House-side of the U.S. Capitol,” Manger wrote. “Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry.”
Pelosi kept the previous mask mandate in place despite the CDC’s May 13 guidance that said fully vaccinated individuals can enter indoor settings without a mask. The Kentucky Republican tweeted at the time that he refused to follow the Speaker’s rules since they were “not based on science.”
“We’ve had enough. We are refusing to wear our masks on the floor during this vote in spite of Pelosi’s threat to take $500 from each of us,” Massie said May 18.
The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Wednesday that all employees and visitors are required to comply with the CDC’s most recent recommendations.