The House Ethics Committee on Friday said it upheld $500 fines levied against three Republican lawmakers who refused to wear face coverings on the House floor last month in protest of the chamber’s mask mandate.

UNITED STATES – MAY 20: Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, walks down the House steps on Thursday, May … [+] 20, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Key Facts

Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Marianne Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) will all have $500 subtracted from their paychecks after appearing in the House maskless during last month’s session.

Mast and Van Duyne both filed appeals against the fines – Miller-Meeks did not.

The three lawmakers, and other GOP colleagues, objected to the continuation of the mandate after the Centers for Disease Control updated their guidance to allow vaccinated people to go maskless indoors.

Van Duyne said in her appeal on May 24 that “masks are now a political statement” – noting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went maskless at the White House the same day she was fined – arguing, “requiring me to wear one violates my First Amendment rights.”

Van Duyne and Mast also argued the fines are a violation of the 27th Amendment, which requires an election before Congress can alter members’ pay, and that CDC’s guidance supersedes any House rule.

Forbes has reached out to Van Duyne and Miller-Meeks for comment.

Chief Critic

“The Ethics Committee has become a partisan clown show holding show trials for the amusement of Nancy Pelosi while unilaterally overturning fines for Democrats and enforcing them against Republicans,” Mast said in a statement to Forbes – though the committee accepted Rep. Hal Rogers’ (R-Ky.) appeal of a $5,000 metal detector fine last month. “It has always been about power and control,” Mast added.

Key Background

Around a dozen Republican lawmakers, including Mast, Miller-Meeks and Van Duyne, caused a stir in the House chamber last month for refusing to wear masks, with several Democrats urging them to reconsider their protest and at least one reprimanding them for not being “considerate” of members and staff. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the rule would remain in place until all members were vaccinated, but it was lifted earlier this month.

Big Number

85%. That’s the share of House members who were vaccinated as of June 11, according to a top Democratic aide, who noted the rate is “extremely high.”

What To Watch For

Several more decisions are likely to be handed down by the Ethics Committee in the coming days: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) were all fined for going maskless on the House floor one day after Mast, Miller-Meeks and Van Duyne.

This content was originally published here.

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