Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, on Tuesday accused a Republican colleague of poking her and telling her to “kiss my ass” after she asked him to put on a mask.
“Today, while heading to the House floor for votes, I respectfully asked my colleague Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) to put on a mask while boarding the train,” Beatty tweeted. “He then poked my back, demanding I get on the train. When I asked him not to touch me, he responded, ‘kiss my ass.’”
She added that the episode is indicative of a bigger issue with Republican members flouting health and safety guidelines. At the Capitol, especially on the House side, the divide between Democrats and Republicans wearing masks is particularly stark.
Beatty ended her thread by tweeting that when Rogers is ready to “grow up” and “apologize” for his behavior, he knows where to find her.
“This afternoon, I met with Congresswoman Beatty to personally apologize,” Rogers said in a statement to TPM. “My words were not acceptable and I expressed my regret to her, first and foremost.”
Some Republicans have been going maskless as a political statement, both in the halls and on the House floor.
The House approved a resolution last year saying that members will be fined $500 the first time they fail to wear a mask on the House floor, and $2,500 for subsequent violations.
As of the end of December 2021, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Andrew Clyde (R-GA) had racked up more than $100,000 in combined fines, according to the New York Times. Those penalties are taken directly from their paychecks.