House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday attempted to enforce a new rule pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), requiring committee chairs to “exclude members who fail to comply” with wearing a mask during proceedings.
But when Nadler tried to skip over a mask-free Republican’s speaking time during a meeting, Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pushed back.
What are the details?
The Hill reported that the Capitol physician — at the request of Pelosi — issued guidance Tuesday night requiring lawmakers to wear facial coverings for all meetings “in a limited space, such as a committee hearing room, for greater than 15 minutes.”
A senior Democratic aide told the outlet that the speaker had asked committee chairs to “enforce rules of decorum and exclude members who fail to comply.”
While overseeing a Judiciary Committee meeting the next day, Nadler reminded his colleagues of the new rule — saying he had been “lenient” for most of the day — but warned that moving forward “anyone who is not wearing a mask will not be recognized to speak. Period.”
Immediately thereafter, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who was not wearing a mask, sought to speak to argue his case for not covering his face. Nadler ignored him, and attempted to skip over the congressman to allow a Democrat to take the allotted time.
“McClintock has tried repeatedly to make his point,” Jordan interjected. After Nadler made another effort to move on to the Democrat, Jordan said, “No, no, it’s our side. You just had a Democrat speak, it’s our turn.”
After a back-and-forth, Nadler eventually relented, allowing McClintock to express his opposition to the mask rule and its enforcement. The California Republican argued, “I consider masks much more effective at spreading panic and much less effective at stopping a virus.”