Rep. Nancy Mace, R-N.C., told Newsmax on Monday that the mask mandate on the House side of the U.S. Capitol, including fines and possible arrests, is ''an authoritarian regime.''
''This is an authoritarian regime right now,'' Mace said on ''Stinchfield.'' ''At this point, when I heard when I walked into my office on the hill on Thursday morning, and heard that [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi had directed the Capitol Hill Police to arrest staffers and anyone visiting the Capitol who was not wearing a mask, I lost it, and members of Congress who were not wearing a mask were supposed to be reported to the police. This is insanity, and it's Nancy Pelosi gone wild.''
Mace, 43, said that she has been vaccinated, and had COVID-19 before that and recovered, and is trying to be reasonable by still wearing her mask while on the House floor when more than 400 other members are present.
''I was wearing a mask before I got vaccinated. But we are pushing back now, and I don't mind wearing a mask in the chamber when there are 400 or 500 people, you, know, in there,'' Mace said. ''I'm reasonable about it, but what we shouldn't be doing is threatening people to arrest them if they don't wear a mask, or if they're not vaccinated. That is a choice that you should make and consultation with your physician and your family. There are parents that may want to hold off on getting their kids vaccinated. They should, by all means, be given the freedom to choose and do that.''
Last week, the Office of Attending Physician Brian Monahan issued a memo to all members of Congress and their staff that masks were required on the House side of the Capitol building and on the floor of that chamber, meeting areas and House office buildings, to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially the more contagious delta variant.
''We always just follow the guidance of the Capitol physician. There is no discussion about should we do it, should we not for one reason or another,'' Pelosi told reporters last week. ''It's the decision of the Capitol physician, who is following the guidance of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention about the masks.''
Pelosi later said she was asking Capitol Police to arrest any staffers or visitors to the building without masks, whether vaccinated or not.
Members of Congress without masks were to be reported to police and could be fined thousands of dollars, Mace said.
''There is something called civil disobedience where we can, and we should, peacefully protest some of these demands,'' she said.
''I'm old enough to remember when it was former President [Donald] Trump who was ‘authoritarian,' but this truly is what they're doing, [being] authoritarian right now, and it's time to push back. Republicans are [being] villainized [for not wearing masks or getting vaccinated], and I had four words for Nancy Pelosi: 'Come and get me.'''
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