United States Capitol Police (USCP) were given instruction recently to detain and arrest all staff and visitors within the House side of the building if they are caught without a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. The instruction was leaked online Thursday after the police memo got shared.
The memo was issued on Wednesday by USCP Chief Thomas Manger, and explains that both staff members and visitors must wear masks or else they cannot enter “the House side” of the building.
The memo continues by stating that staff or visitors who are unwilling to comply with the mask mandate or who refuse to leave the area will be “subject to arrest” on grounds of “Unlawful Entry.” Special instructions are given for Congressional representatives, rather than be arrested, their disobedient activity must be “reported” to the office of the “House Sergeant at Arms.”
Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) shared an image of the memo, which she explained to Fox News she had required from a police officer who she would not name. Cammack also reported that in speaking with Capitol Police, they regularly express feeling “very uncomfortable” about the order.
Cammack traced the new harsh enforcement back to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and wrote that Pelosi was guilty of “abuse of power” by authorizing USCP to arrest those who fail to “comply with her mask mandate.”
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.”
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) July 29, 2021
Cammack added that Pelosi greatly overstepped her authority by issuing such an order against House staff members and instructing them to report disobedient members of Congress. She added that the entire situation is “absolutely unconscionable.”
Fox News reported that “many other GOP reps” such as Cammack are angered and frustrated by the renewed mask mandates, especially because they make no exception for vaccinated individuals. The new rules are a strict enforcement of updated guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control at the beginning of the week as a response to “lower-than-expected vaccination rates” and the new delta COVID variant.
House Minority Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) took to Twitter with similar feelings as Cammack, stating that Pelosi’s order is not “about science… it’s about power.”
To be clear: Pelosi is directing police to ARREST vaccinated people who aren’t wearing masks.
This isn’t about science—it’s about power and control. https://t.co/XMXxI0Dw2D
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 29, 2021
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff claimed that she is not in control of the USCP, and added that the office was not aware of the memo before it got reported to the press.
But Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Minority Leader took note of how the strict mask mandate is only being applied to the House side of the Capitol, meaning that the order must have been authorized by Pelosi. He then slammed the Speaker of the House by stating that the building “is not Pelosi’s house… [it’s] the peoples House.”
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 29, 2021
When Pelosi was approached about the issue, she deflected the blame to the Capitol physician.
Author: Richard Lee