How concerned is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about the coronavirus? Not enough to risk holding onto her power, apparently.
A group of House Republicans has issued a rebuke to the newly re-elected House speaker after she ignored COVID guidelines so that lawmakers could vote for her, the Washington Examiner reported.
Pelosi accused of hypocrisy
Pelosi was re-elected to a fourth term on Sunday, despite the muted objections of a few lawmakers. A larger protest had been anticipated, and there was even some speculation that Pelosi could run into trouble on account of the coronavirus.
Like many Democrats, Pelosi has been eager to scold over coronavirus rules — but found herself on the receiving end of criticism after Sunday’s vote.
In a letter, Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and other Republicans chastised Pelosi for having lawmakers gather — including, as the Washington Examiner noted, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), who recently tested positive for the virus.
“The opening day of the 117th Congress was the latest example of medical guidance being thrown out the window in favor of what is politically convenient,” they complained.
“Despite the science not changing, the guidelines we operated under for your election as Speaker did,” the letter continued.
Pelosi scolds members
The lawmakers went on to criticize Pelosi for having Plexiglas installed — without their knowledge, they said — so compromised lawmakers could participate.
“The result was the crowding of hundreds of members on the House floor for extended periods of time and confusion during yesterday’s session,” they said. “The purpose of the structure was to allow members who elected to break COVID-19 quarantine to vote.”
Nevertheless, Pelosi did not allow embarrassment to stop her from reprimanding lawmakers in her own letter Monday, according to Fox News.
“The chair would like to remind members that the chair has authority and responsibility to preserve order and decorum in the chamber … to that end, the chair reminds all members that as a matter of decorum they are required to wear masks at all times in the halls of the house even while under recognition,” she said.
Of course, this is not the first time Pelosi has been accused of ignoring the coronavirus at her convenience; the Democrat was wrapped up in scandal last year over a visit to a San Francisco salon.