Nov 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Greene's fines unmasked

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen speaking outside the U.S. Capitol on Monday.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has already been fined a quarter of her congressional salary for not wearing a mask on the House floor, yet she says that pales in comparison to the price paid by other public employees.

Why it matters: Republicans have defied a slate of measures put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and bolster security following the Jan. 6 attack. And Greene has the personal wealth to withstand fines aimed at enforcing them.

  • Greene compared herself to firefighters, police officers, nurses and other workers fired for refusing to comply with mask mandates. She attended a news conference on their behalf outside the Capitol on Monday.
  • "What kind of representative would I be if I am unwilling to give up my salary?" she told Axios on Tuesday. "And I don't get fired! Like, it's a horrible thing that's happening in our country."
  • "The Senate side [of the Capitol] is not forced to wear a mask. And it's crazy, is insanity to walk through that Dome, and then there's some kind of magical barrier that separates who wears a mask and who doesn't."

Greene, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) are suing Pelosi under the 27th Amendment to try to eliminate the mask fines.

  • In addition to several other House Republicans being hit with mask fines, numerous House members — mostly Republicans — also have faced fines for evading metal detectors at entrances to the House chamber.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joked during a recent rally about blowing up the metal detectors with explosives.

Between the lines: Greene already has incurred $48,000 in fines — over a quarter of her $174,000 congressional salary — for repeatedly violating the House's mask mandate. On Tuesday, she was seen maskless on the floor once again.

  • The House sergeant-at-arms told Greene in a letter last Thursday that she has been observed not wearing a mask in the chamber 21 times since May.
  • That's resulted in a $500 first-offense fine and 19 additional $2,500 fines.
  • Greene's congressional salary likely pales in comparison to her overall wealth. She and her husband own a construction company, and she gave her 2020 House campaign nearly $1 million in loans.

Go deeper: Read the sergeant-at-arms letter.

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