Feb 8, 2022 - Health

GOP lawmaker apologizes after insulting Rep. Joyce Beatty after she asked him to wear a mask

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) speaks during a press conference at Union Station on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17, 2022
Rep. Joyce Beatty speaks during a press conference at Union Station on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) apologized Tuesday evening to Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, for telling her to "kiss my a--" after she asked him to wear a face mask, CNN reported.

What they're saying: “My words were not acceptable,” Rogers told CNN.

Driving the news: The incident occurred after Beatty asked Rogers to put on a face mask as the two were boarding a train on the Capitol subway system, Beatty wrote in a Twitter thread.

  • "He then poked my back, demanding I get on the train. When I asked him not to touch me, he responded, 'kiss my a--,'" she recounted.
  • "This is the kind of disrespect we have been fighting for years, and indicative of the larger issue we have with GOP Members flaunting health and safety mandates designed to keep us and our staff safe."

The big picture: Capitol physician Brian Monahan announced in July that the House was reimposing its indoor mask requirement for meetings in enclosed spaces.

  • Face masks have been a partisan issue in the House, with several Republican lawmakers being fined after refusing to comply with the rule.
  • House members are fined $500 the first time they break the House pandemic rule and $2,500 is taken from their $174,000 congressional pay each time they commit the offense thereafter.
Go deeper