In coordination with Capitol Attending Physician Brian Monahan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) moved this week to reimpose a strict mask mandate on House members, staffers, and their visitors. The move came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did an abrupt about-face on the issue of masks, which they now advise even fully vaccinated Americans don in select public spaces.
This time, however, it seems Pelosi has taken things up a notch. According to Breitbart, U.S. Capitol Police are under orders to enforce the mask mandate — and they’ve even been told they can arrest staffers and visitors to the House side of the Capitol complex who don’t comply.
Needless to say, House Republicans who had opposed Pelosi’s original mask mandate at the Capitol are even more vehement in their opposition to the updated rules.
New mask mandate
News of the threat of arrest over the newly reimposed mask mandate originally came by way of an internal bulletin obtained and shared online by Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL).
The bulletin, written to Capitol Police officers from the Office of the Chief of Police, reportedly instructs personnel to wear masks at all times while indoors anywhere within the Capitol complex, “effective immediately,” and directs officers to enforce Pelosi’s mandate.
Those who refuse to wear a mask could be denied entry or even arrested for unlawful entry if they still refuse to comply. House members, however, are not subject to arrest for noncompliance, but rather, would be reported to the House sergeant-at-arms — along with any maskless staffers who may be accompanying them — for potential further discipline.
“In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals,” Cammack wrote of the development. “For Members, they advise not arresting but ‘reporting Members to [the sergeant-at-arms] for their failure to comply.'”
In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals.
For Members, they advise not arresting but “reporting Members to SAA for their failure to comply.”
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) July 29, 2021
“Power and control”
In response to the draconian announcement, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) let loose, writing in a tweet that it’s not about safety or science, but “power and control.”
“To be clear: Pelosi is directing police to ARREST vaccinated people who aren’t wearing masks,” he wrote. “This isn’t about science — it’s about power and control.”
Libertarian-leaning Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was even more blunt, even daring Pelosi and Capitol Police to arrest him and others on his staff who don’t comply with the mandate.
“This is INSANE. Might as well come into my office and arrest my entire staff. We are not wearing masks,” Massie insisted in a Thursday tweet. “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.”