Rep. Massie slams Pelosi's reimposed mask mandate in House chamber: 'Hell no, I’m not backing down'
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, who had already been fined once for failing to wear a mask on the House floor, says he will not back down and refuses to wear a mask.
"Hell no, I’m not backing down," Massie, who had already been fined once for failing to wear a mask on the House floor, told host Bill Hemmer.
Massie and other GOP representatives, including Brian Mast of Florida and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, were issued a $500 fine apiece. Future violations could reach $2,500.
"Pelosi fined us for $500 each," Massie told Hemmer, noting that "she’s taking it directly out of our salary, which runs contrary to the Constitution."
"The courts usually won’t get involved in these squabbles inside the House," he continued. "But when they violate the Constitution, we believe the courts are going to take this case up because of the way in which she’s collecting the fine."
He added that more plaintiffs could join the lawsuit.
"I’ve got people asking if they can join the lawsuit now," Massie said.
The congressman made the comments on the same day U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) were ordered to start arresting visitors and staff who refuse to wear a mask on the House side of the Capitol complex, according to a police memo issued by new USCP Chief Thomas Manger that was obtained by a member of Congress.
Police were also advised not to arrest members of Congress for failing to wear masks, but to report the lawmakers' noncompliance to the House sergeant-at-arms, the memo says.
Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., got a copy of the memo distributed at Thursday's morning roll call from an unnamed police officer, she told Fox News. The police Cammack has spoken to are "very uncomfortable" with this new directive that she describes as "tyrannical."
Cammack, Massie and many other GOP representatives, are up in arms about the return this week of coronavirus mask mandates at the House, regardless of vaccination status. The mask rules follow updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance in the wake of the rise of the contagious COVID Delta variant and lower-than-expected vaccination rates.
On Thursday afternoon, Massie tweeted a photo of himself and three staff members standing in the Capitol without face masks and wrote, "@SpeakerPelosi directed the Capitol Hill Police Chief to arrest maskless staff and visitors in the Capitol."
"The only problem is she isn’t Queen of the senate side, so I took my staff to the middle of the Capitol to visit the line between the House and Senate where COVID stops," he continued.
Earlier, while speaking on "America’s Newsroom," Massie called Pelosi "a tyrant and a hypocrite."
"She reinstituted this mask mandate the day after we filed the case in federal court," he said. "We’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to."
A Pelosi spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.