The assistant speaker of the House is proposing a radical new way of protecting members from COVID-19: Forcing unmasked lawmakers to sit in a plexiglass 'isolation box.'
Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark suggested the measure because fines have not stopped some members flouting the rules.
It recently emerged that Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde had racked up fines of more than $100,000 for repeated offenses.
'This callous disregard for House rules endangers the health of members of Congress and the professional staff whose physical presence is required to ensure continuity of government,' the assistant speaker wrote in a letter to House Sergeant at Arms William Walker.
'This has only become more urgent with the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant and what the Attending Physician describes as an 'unprecedented number of cases in the Capitol community.'
The fines currently stand at $500 for a first offense, and $2500 for subsequent infringements, yet they have not stopped far right figures from appearing without masks.
Rep. Katherine Clark, the assistant speaker, wrote to the Sergeant at Arms requesting that unmasked members use plexiglass 'isolation boxes. Marjorie Taylor Greene is among those who have repeatedly flouted mask mandates in the chamber
In her letter, Clark says fines of $2500 are not having an effect on some members
'That is why, in addition to imposing fines, I am requesting that your office begin requiring members who fail to comply with this rule to attend the House floor from the isolation boxes in the House gallery,' wrote the fourth most senior Democrat in the House.
'This commonsense step will not only protect our dedicated House staff from members who refuse to follow House rules, but it will also allow those members to continue to fulfill their constitutional duty to vote on matters before the House.'
Plexiglass was installed in the gallery of the chamber last January to offer 'isolation boxes' for members who were quarantining and needed to be