Nancy Pelosi will require members of the House of Representatives who attend committee meetings to wear masks. Her decision follows new guidance from Congress’ attending physician.
The move would make it mandatory for congressmen and women to wear a mask in committee. Some Republicans have resisted wearing masks at all, setting up a political spat.
Pelosi has asked the chairs of House committees to “enforce rules of decorum and exclude members who fail to comply.”
This would be an implementation of attending physician Brian Monahan’s advice. He said members should wear masks “in a limited enclosed space, such as a committee hearing room, for greater than 15 minutes.”
A senior Democrat aide explained on Tuesday how the new rule would be carried into effect.
“This requirement will be enforced by the Sergeant at Arms and noncompliant members will be denied entry,” the aide said.
They said “members always have the option to participate in committee proceedings virtually, including from their Washington, D.C., offices or their districts.”
Committee chairs already have the power to enforce rules of decorum, according to already existing rules “the chair may punish breaches of order and decorum.”
A minority of Republicans may attempt to defy this new requirement.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media