Three Republican House members lose their appeals over $500 mask fines

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called the fines, which were issued in May of this year, "arbitrary and capricious."

Updated: July 21, 2021 - 8:05am

Three GOP House members have lost their appeals challenging the fines imposed against them for failing to wear masks on the chamber floor earlier this year.

The House Ethics Committee released statements Tuesday noting that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia; Thomas Massie, of Kentucky; and Ralph Normal, of South Carolina, had not prevailed in their appeals and owe $500 a piece – fines that were issued in May.

The lawmakers argued that the mandate was out of sync with federal guidance on face coverings. The vote for which the lawmakers were fined took place a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a guidance noting that "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing."

Even following the agency's announcement, Congress' attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, wrote that "mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all members and floor staff are fully vaccinated."

The requirement was lifted June 11, with Monahan specifying that fully vaccinated members, staff and chamber visitors would be allowed to shed their face coverings.

In her appeal, Greene wrote that the fine was "an abuse of discretion, and otherwise non consistent with law or with principles of fairness." 

She also called them "arbitrary and capricious."