Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne's loses appeal, fined for violating U.S. House's mask rule

Rep. Beth Van Duyne is going to be fined $500 for refusing to wear masks during protests on House mask rules in May.Seven Republicans received warnings for breaking the mask rules. Three Republicans, including Van Duyne were also issued warnings. Van Duyne (of Irving) had violated the mask rules previously on May 13.The chambers required that all members, regardless of their vaccination status, wear masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on May 13, allowing vaccinated persons to wear masks in most places. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), kept the chambers mask rules because it was not clear how many people had been vaccinated.Van Duyne stated in her appeal that it is now evident that any enforcement of any mask rule has been made a partisan, politically-motivated issue rather than one grounded on science.Pelosi, R-Calif. explained her reasoning for the rules two days after the Republican action. This was after House Republicans led by Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tried to modify the mask rules.Pelosi stated at a May 20 press conference that we have a responsibility for making sure the House of Representatives isn't a "petri dish" because of selfishness of some who are not vaccinated.A House member cited for violating rules can appeal to the House Committee on Ethics. The appeal can be submitted to the committee within 30 days. The appeal can be accepted by a majority of members of the committee.Van Duynes had been granted a 30-day appeals window last week.Although I was disappointed that our appeal was denied, I am glad my message to Nancy Pelosi to follow science's lead finally reached her as she has stopped requiring masks on the House floor. Van Duyne stated in a Friday statement that she now needs to reopen the House to all visitors so they aren't turned away.On June 9, the House attending physician updated chambers guidelines, allowing staff and members vaccinated to stop wearing masks and social distancing.