The fight over mask mandates has permeated the entire country, and Capitol Hill is no exception.
Now, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is getting pushback.
Pelosi sparked outrage after news broke that she directed Capitol Police to arrest staffers who refused to wear a mask.
“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,” Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger wrote in a letter. “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.” (Story continues below.)
Republicans have pushed back hard on Pelosi, likely setting members up for a showdown.
“We have a crisis at our border and we’re playing footsie with mask mandates in the people’s house…” said Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas. “This sham of an institution is doing nothing for the American people.”
Another member has dared Pelosi to arrest his staff.
“This is INSANE,” tweeted Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. “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.”
The debate comes after the Center for Disease Control announced earlier this week that even vaccinated Americans should wear a mask if they are in an area of the country with an outbreak, even for children.
“On rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “This new science is worrisome and, unfortunately, warrants an update to our recommendations.”