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House Ethics panel rejects 3 GOP appeals over $500 mask fines

Reps. Mary Miller (L), Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ralph Norman and Thomas Massie pose for a maskless photograph in May from the House floor in protest of a mask mandate. Photo courtesy of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene/Twitter
Reps. Mary Miller (L), Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ralph Norman and Thomas Massie pose for a maskless photograph in May from the House floor in protest of a mask mandate. Photo courtesy of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene/Twitter

July 20 (UPI) -- The Committee on Ethics of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected the appeals of three Republican lawmakers arguing against fines they received for not wearing masks on the House floor.

The committee individually notified Republican Reps. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia that "a majority of the Committee did not agree to the appeal."

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The three lawmakers were among several Republican House representatives who were fined in May for not wearing a face covering while on the House floor in protest against the rule announced last summer to stymie the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The Republican lawmakers defied the rule, which was coupled with a $500 fine in January, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control updated its guidance on May 13 to state those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 need not wear a mask indoors and outdoors in most scenarios.

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Greene with Norman, Massie and Republican Illinois Rep. Mary Miller posed with wide grins without masks for a selfie on May 18 from the floor.

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"Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool," Greene said in the caption accompanying the tweet. "End the oppression!"

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Greene, Norman and Massie were fined May 20, which they individually appealed last month.

Norman, in his appeal, said he voted on the House floor without wearing a mask "because I was following the direction of our nation's top scientists that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to war a mask."

Massie and Greene in their identical appeals called the fine "arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise not consistent with law or with principles of fairness," accusing the mask mandate of not being aligned with science.

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