Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has been fined at least $48,000 for violating House rules on mask wearing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Congressmembers are fined $500 for their first mask violation, and $2,500 for each subsequent one. Greene’s first violation was in May and she has continued to flout the rules at least 20 times.
The four latest violations took place in late September, the House Ethics Committee said in a statement. The fines are deducted from lawmakers’ congressional pay, which sits at $174,000 each year.
Greene addressed the fines on Tuesday, telling media that she was standing “against authoritarian Democratic mandates, because I don’t want the American people to stand alone.”
“Why do I get fined for not wearing a mask when I’m sitting in a chair on the House floor the same as people eating unmasked at a restaurant?” she asked later on Twitter.
The House first instituted mask mandates on the chamber floor last year and imposed hefty fines in January in the midst of the virus’ spread, which has continued throughout this year even with vaccines now widely available. Face coverings have become a flashpoint among many conservative lawmakers, even though medical experts have long said they are an effective measure for limiting the spread of COVID-19.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has kept the mask mandates in place, aside from a brief pause in mid-June, even if lawmakers are fully vaccinated. The highly-transmissible delta variant prompted Pelosi to reinstate the requirements by July.
The Senate has not required masks on the chamber floor, but they are strongly encouraged.