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Capitol Police Ordered to Arrest Staff and Visitors Not Wearing Masks After New House Mandate

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a new mandate for everyone in the House, including staff and visitors, to wear masks and now the Capitol Police plan to enforce it.

U.S. Capitol Police have been ordered to start arresting staff and visitors to the House who are not wearing a mask, Fox News reported.

The Capitol Police were advised not to arrest members of Congress but to report them to the House Sergeant-At-Arms.

Republican Florida Rep. Kat Cammack received a copy of the memo from an unnamed police officer, she said to Fox News.

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“In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals. For Members, they advise not arresting but ‘reporting Members to SAA for their failure to comply,’” she said on Twitter.

“But just in the last 24 hours, we’ve seen Speaker Pelosi without a mask, directly disobeying the very order she wants everyone else to follow. Rules for thee, but not for me at its finest,” she said.

“This is such an overstep of Speaker Pelosi’s authority to basically make our Capitol Police arrest staff members and report on members [of Congress],” she said to Fox News. “It’s absolutely unconscionable that this is where we’re at.”

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“I cannot comply with this tyrannical order,” she said. “This is the people’s house, not Nancy Pelosi’s house.”

Cammack, like many other GOP reps, 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.

GOP members huddled with Capitol Attending Physician Brian P. Monahan Wednesday at the Capitol to express their frustrations with the new mask guidance and say it’s not based on science. GOP members have openly revolted against the mask mandates – especially since it’s not in place on the Senate side – and said it’s a politically motivated mandate from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi said that she was not involved in the order from the Capitol Police and had just discovered it.

“The speaker of the House does not control the U.S. Capitol Police,” her spokesperson Drew Hammill said.  “We were unaware of the memo until it was reported in the press.”

But Republicans were blaming Pelosi for it.

“Power-trip Pelosi is making vaccinated folks at the Capitol wear masks – refusal to comply w/ this political theatre could result in arrest. Speaker Pelosi is more focused on D.C. swamp theatre than addressing skyrocketing violence, the crisis at our border, & sky-high inflation,” Rep. Mike Rogers said.

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“The House of Representatives is supposed to be a democratic institution. But to enforce her absurd mask mandate, she’s gone full authoritarian, demanding the Capitol Police arrest staff and report Members who fail to comply,” Rep. Jason Smith said.

“This is absurd. Staffers and visitors will be arrested for not wearing a mask in the Capitol. The United States House of Representatives is officially under Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian rule,” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler said on Twitter.

“Vaccinated Americans will be arrested for not wearing a mask when visiting their Capitol. Meanwhile, unmasked and unvaccinated illegal immigrants are given a plane ticket to anywhere in the U.S.,” Rep. Jody Arrington said.

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“According to House Dems, @SpeakerPelosi has no responsibility for the security failure on 1/6 because she doesn’t actually oversee USCP. BUT Pelosi is empowered to direct USCP to arrest people for not wearing masks,” Rep. Jim Banks said.

“If you are a Capitol police officer you got orders … if a vaccinated staffer comes across in the House side without a mask you’re ordered to arrest them, but not on the Senate side,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said. “This is not the America we know.”

Speaker Pelosi is getting the blame from many Republicans but, again, the Speaker’s office has denied that she had an involvement with the order.

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