May 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Republican Rep. Brian Mast appeals $500 fine for going maskless on House floor

Brian Mast gestures while wearing a suit

Rep. Brian Mast at a March 10 hearing. Photo: Ken Cedeno/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said Monday he will appeal a $500 fine brought by House rules requiring all members to wear masks, despite new CDC guidance allowing fully vaccinated people to go maskless indoors.

The big picture: The fine comes after Mast joined several of his Republican colleagues in an apparent act of protest to go maskless on the House floor, after which he said it was the "best $500 I ever spent."

  • Despite updated CDC guidelines — which were in place several days before Mast and his colleagues went without masks — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has doubled down on the mask mandate, pointing out that not all members have confirmed they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

What he's saying: "I am fully vaccinated and followed the science, which on May 13, 2021, was updated by the CDC to state that 'fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting,'" Mast said in a statement.

  • "Any requirements to the contrary are reliant on the CDC guidance and so must fall within the CDC's update," he said.
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