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Powerful message from House GOP before recess: we hate wearing masks at work

Republican House leaders held a press conference Thursday to deliver a powerful farewell message to America before returning home for a two-month break: We hate wearing masks at work.

“We have a country in crisis,” said parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Meeting with GOP lawmakers outside Capitol Hill.

He jumped from topic to topic to suggest a crisis (crime, gas prices, border security) before turning to new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on wearing masks while the variant The highly contagious coronavirus delta is spreading across the country. He called the country’s main public health agency the “political arm” of the Biden administration and said it “wants to control every part of our lives.”

And then, McCarthy shared how difficult it has been for Republicans to put on their masks when they walk into the House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Reimposed a mask warrant on Tuesday after Congressional attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan issued new recommendations saying all House members and staff, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a “well-fitted”. , medical grade, filtering face mask ‘at work. The Senate mask policy is still largely voluntary at this time, which House Republicans say is not fair since they must wear masks.

“We are standing in front of the Capitol, near the chambers of the House, but when you look across the other steps, is the Senate. I’m not sure where the CDC got to, but somewhere in the middle of this dome, science is changing, ”McCarthy said to his caucus laughing.

“This is not the America we know,” he added. “This is not Pelosi’s house. It is the people’s house.

McCarthy said House Republicans “have had enough” and promised they “won’t allow the CDC to be political,” referring to the agency recommending that people in certain areas wear masks again inside to protect yourself and others from the delta variant.

“The Republican Congress will not allow this to happen,” McCarthy said.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) said Pelosi wanted Republicans to talk about how they should wear masks at work, and then continued to talk about it.

“She wants us to talk about this ridiculous mask warrant,” Gonzales said. “She wants to divide us. But we are not going to be divided.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), who reminded people he’s a doctor (he’s a chiropodist), complained about having to wear a mask on Capitol Hill when residents of Washington, DC, did not to wear masks around town.

“CDC guidelines and mask warrants inflicted on the House of Representatives do not match DC guidelines,” Wenstrup said, gesturing to those in attendance at the GOP’s outdoor event. “Look at you, you don’t wear masks. Because DC does not require it due to CDC guidelines. Yet this is sort of ignored once you enter this side of the building. “

Republicans House melted since the mask requirement was reimposed on Tuesday. Some erupted into screams and verbal altercations. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) even tried, unsuccessfully, to adjourn the House for Wednesday because he didn’t want to wear a mask.

For all their complaints, House Republicans will only have to wear masks at work for three days. The House is adjourned Friday until September 20, so they will return home for nearly two months and will be subject to the mask guidelines in place in their districts.

One likely reason the Congressional attending physician recommended House lawmakers wear masks again is that dozens of House Republicans are not vaccinated or will not say if they are, according to a CNN survey in mid-May.

Every Democrat in the House and Senate is vaccinated, according to the same poll.

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