House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is tightening requirements to wear masks on the floor of the House, telling members that they will not be recognized for speaking unless they wear masks.
Masks were already required in the room, but so far members have been allowed to take off their masks when speaking on the floor of the house. As the pandemic worsens across the country, a number of members of Congress have contracted COVID-19.
“Members will not be recognized unless they wear a mask, and recognition will be withdrawn if they remove the mask while they speak,” Pelosi announced. “The President appreciates the continued interest of all members and employees in these principles.”
Sometimes speaking in the House of Representatives is a high-profile event, but often addressing members is a essentially almost empty room so that the recorded video can be shown to voters back home.
Pelosi: “Significant progress” on the Coronavirus Relief Bill …
No date has been set for members of Congress to receive the new vaccine. It wasn’t until recently that widespread testing was made available on Capitol Hill, with members arriving from across the country including COVID-19 hotspots. Many members of the House and Senate are in the high-risk category because of their age.
Meanwhile, top Democrats and Republicans are meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to continue negotiations on coronavirus relief and the government spending plan.