Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) led 66 colleagues in a letter calling on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to immediately enforce the rules of the House of Representatives for wearing masks while inside the Capitol Complex. Leader McCarthy has repeatedly failed to ensure the Republican Caucus follows the rules set forth by the Sergeant at Arms, leading to countless potential super-spreading events including on January 6, when the Capitol was breached by insurrectionists spurred on by President Trump and Republican Members of Congress continuing to spread lies about the results of the November 2020 election.
“As a result, some of us and many of our colleagues from both sides of the aisle were forced to evacuate the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to a secure location. At that location, numerous Republican Members of Congress jeered, smirked, and openly ridiculed requests and an offer of face masks. They did this in clear violation of the requirement of the House Sergeant at Arms when convened in the Capitol and despite the fact that hundreds of Members were forced to shelter in close proximity to one another for hours on end in rooms with less than ideal ventilation – setting the stage for a textbook super-spreader event,” the Members wrote.
Since then, at least three Members of Congress – recent cancer survivor Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Congressman Brad Schneider – have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“The inability or unwillingness of Members of your caucus to follow clear, nonpartisan medical advice has resulted in a life and death matter. Your leadership is necessary to ensure that all comply with basic public health guidelines. … Make no mistake, this puts everyone who visits and works at the Capitol complex—not only other Members, but also staff, Capitol Police, maintenance workers, food service workers, journalists, and others—at unnecessary risk,” the Members added.
A copy of the letter is attached to this press release. Cosigners include: Cindy Axne (D-IA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), André Carson (D-IN), Sean Casten (D-IL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jason Crow (D-CO), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Val Demings (D-FL), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Mike Levin (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), David E. Price (D-NC), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Darren Soto (D-FL), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Susan Wild (D-PA), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).
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