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Republican House leadership are ramping up the pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s alleged double standard when it comes to COVID-19 guidelines.
In a letter to Pelosi, the GOP leaders cited Sunday’s vote for speaker to say that the guidelines issued by the House Sergeant of Arms and Attending Physician under her direction were completely abandoned.
“The opening day of the 117th Congress was the latest example of medical guidance being thrown out the window in favor of what is politically convenient,” declared the letter signed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, and Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., ranking member of the House Administration Committee.
“Despite the science not changing, the guidelines we operated under for your election as Speaker did,” the letter noted.
Despite the science not changing, the guidelines that Congress operated under for Nancy Pelosi’s election as Speaker did.@SteveScalise, @RepLizCheney, @RodneyDavis, and I sent her this letter—demanding she stops playing these political games. pic.twitter.com/8fnvK71Pqb
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 5, 2021
Overcrowding on the House floor was cited by the Republicans, and the construction of a “Popemobile” like plexiglass structure to allow quarantined members to vote.
“This was done without the knowledge of House Republicans,” the letter said. “If truly constructed for everyone’s safety, it would have been coordinated and communicated to everyone ahead of time. The reality is, it was built because it was politically beneficial to you to have members vote on your behalf for speaker.”
With the smallest majority in recent history and members required to be present to vote, Pelosi was narrowly elected speaker again on Sunday, winning the gavel by a slim margin of 7 votes in a 216-209 vote.
All of which meant that she needed every vote she could get and could not afford to let something like a global pandemic stand in her way.
In addition to allowing quarantined members to vote, Pelosi permitted a member who had just tested positive for the coronavirus, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., to appear and cast a vote in her favor.
Davis blasted the “shameful” move at the time, saying it was “100% political.”
“This is completely against everything we’re told throughout this entire pandemic for House operations,” he told reporters Sunday. “To build a structure like that in the dark of night, to only protect the votes that Speaker Pelosi needs to get elected speaker, is shameful.”
Yet, on Monday, once her role as speaker was secured, Pelosi then had the audacity to send a letter of her own reminding members to adhere to social distancing and other health precautions on the House floor.
The GOP leaders concluded their letter by insisting Pelosi end “the inconsistencies in the guidance you direct and the politicization of the House’s support apparatus.”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Nancy Pelosi’s priority is clear: herself.
She delayed COVID relief for months while small businesses suffered.
Now she allowed Rep. Moore, who tested positive for COVID-19 just days ago, to travel to the Capitol so she could retain her speakership.https://t.co/BLeviPS4eg
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 5, 2021
According to Speaker Pelosi, healthy Americans must wear masks, close their small businesses, and stay home at all times.
But a Democrat who tested positive for COVID-19 can travel to DC, vote on the House floor, and is deemed “essential” just to keep Nancy Pelosi in power.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 4, 2021
She’s going to rip this up. She doesn’t care. Just like the swing states ripped up their election laws. They think they are above the law & they are right. No one gets held accountable. In fact, Liz Cheney does the same crap. She lets her hate of Trump justify lawlessness.
— Firelight (President-Elect of all things S’mores) (@_Firelight) January 5, 2021
And what if she doesn’t? Then what? I think you GOP leaders keep underestimating your opponents here and what they are willing to do.
— Kevin Kelly (@BigKev509) January 5, 2021
Instead of sending your “wrist slapping” letters which she will clearly ignore….
Do something about it, she’s shown no signs of stopping the behavior she has been perpetrating over the last 4 years.
— Chris Sprotte (@CSprotte) January 5, 2021
Been to opening day of new House session. A zoo.Kids allowed on the House floor with their House member parents. My daughter was on the floor with her Dad several times in 80s.I was in the gallery. It might have behooved @SpeakerPelosi to have exercised restraint under #COVID19
— Marty Davis (@MartyDavis) January 5, 2021