(The Hill) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said Tuesday that she has accumulated $63,000 in fines for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, with additional fines likely to be imposed as she continues to defy the chamber’s mask requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m up to $63,000,” Greene told The Hill outside the House chamber while not wearing a mask and confirmed that the fines are automatically “deducted out of my check.” Greene also volunteered that she is not vaccinated against COVID-19 after declining to disclose her vaccination status for months.
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“I’m not vaccinated either. And I won’t be getting vaccinated. And that’s my own personal choice. I support people that want the vaccine. If anybody wanted one, I would drive them to go get one because I support people’s freedom to make their own decision. But I do not want to get the vaccine myself, and I don’t need to wear a mask. It’s not changing anything,” Greene said.
Greene defended her increasingly costly protest as a way to make a statement about the ongoing mask requirement on the House side of the Capitol, which has been in place since July 2020. “Well, you know what’s really expensive? People getting fired for not taking a vaccine that they feel they don’t need,” Greene said
A spokesman for Greene said that the last mask fine notification from the House sergeant-at-arms was on Nov. 5. But he added that Greene expects additional fines from Monday and Tuesday. The Hill first reported earlier this month that Greene had racked up $48,000 in mask fines through Oct. 28.
Greene previously declined to say whether she had received a COVID-19 vaccine and claimed that reporters asking about it was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which prevents insurance companies, health providers and business associates from disclosing personal health information without an individual’s consent.
Greene first announced that she is not vaccinated during a Monday interview with Newsmax, declaring that she “will be standing strong, standing up for the people across this country that refuse to get vaccinated.”
Greene’s disclosure comes after she was suspended from Twitter for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
The House mask mandate was briefly lifted this summer during the temporary nationwide decline in cases, only to be reinstated due to the delta variant of the virus.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), meanwhile, announced Tuesday that the nation’s capital will lift its indoor mask mandate for most spaces starting Nov. 22. But masks will still be required in places such as schools, public transit and D.C. government facilities with public-facing roles.
House Democrats voted in January to establish fines to enforce compliance with the chamber’s mask mandate after several Republicans, including Greene, declined to wear masks while lawmakers were crowded together in a secure location during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. At that point, most lawmakers were not yet fully vaccinated.
The mask fines start at $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses, which lawmakers can appeal to the House Ethics Committee. Any fines that are upheld are automatically deducted from lawmakers’ paychecks and cannot be paid for with campaign or office budget funds.
Democrats also enacted fines to enforce House chamber security screenings established after Jan. 6 to ensure that all lawmakers are complying with longstanding rules prohibiting them from bringing weapons. Those fines start at $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses.
Greene, along with two other House Republicans who were fined for not wearing masks, filed a lawsuit in July to challenge the constitutionality of the fines.
At least one other House Republican is also accumulating hefty fines for not wearing a mask. Greene’s fellow Georgia Republican, Rep. Andrew Clyde, has been fined at least $15,500 for not wearing a mask on the House floor in recent weeks.