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Rep. Brian Mast appeals $500 fine for refusing to wear mask on House floor

Brian Mast
Posted at 1:58 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 13:58:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., is appealing a $500 fine for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor.

Mast sent a letter Monday to Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., officially appealing the fine levied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Deutch is the chair of the House Ethics Committee, while Walorski is the ranking committee member.

Brian Mast mask violation a... by PeterBurke

Mast's letter states that he was issued both a warning and violation notice last Wednesday.

But the Florida congressman, who represents St. Lucie, Martin and the northeast portion of Palm Beach counties, argued that he shouldn't be subjected to fines for following the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when it comes to mask-wearing among fully vaccinated individuals.

"I am appealing Speaker Pelosi's $500 fine because I was in full compliance with the CDC guidance and it is unlawful," Mast said in a statement. "The scientists at the CDC told us if you are fully vaccinated, you can go about your life without wearing a mask or physically distancing. So, that's what I'm doing. It has never been about following the science for Speaker Pelosi. It has always been about power and control."

A House resolution passed in February calls for the imposing of fines for any member who fails to complete the security screening required to enter the House chamber.

Mast wrote in his letter that the House resolution is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and is "without merit and unenforceable."

"I respectfully request that my appeal be granted and any fine stemming from an alleged violation be voided," he concluded.

Mast told his Republican colleagues last week that he's "done" wearing masks and won't wear them on the House floor anymore.