Ahead of State of the Union Address, Congress Shows How Political Its Rules Were, Lifts Mask Mandates

As mask mandates and other Covid-19 measures are slowly fading away across the country, Congress is doing the same. According to Axios, masks will no longer be required in Congress. This news comes at the same time as Biden’s State of the Union address which will happen on March 1st. According to Axios, the new rules will extend to the State of the Union Address later tonight. 

As one can imagine, this news is getting some flak from conservatives because of the timing. Previously Democrats have long claimed that masks were absolutely necessary for health and safety, but now with Biden’s State of the Union address quickly approaching, it has been deemed safe to remove them. 

Many members of Congress have made tough stands against masks and been fined for their actions. Congressman Thomas Massie, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and many others have received fines for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor. Congresswoman Greene even alleges that she has racked up around $90,000 worth of fines for not wearing a mask. Together, Massie, Greene, and Norman went so far as to sue Nancy Pelosi over these fines in 2021. 

After hearing that masks would no longer be required, Thomas Massie took to Twitter to say “Follow the political theater! House mask mandate suspended just in time for State of the Union. It’s time to end unconstitutional proxy voting and remote/zoom hearings as well. Open Capitol to the people! Dems have enjoyed not coming to work for too long.”

Congressman Andy Biggs also took to Twitter to comment on the mask mandate being lifted for Congress, saying “Don’t be fooled—the CDC’s loosening of mask guidance was 100% tied to the State of the Union. Biden has no other accomplishments to report in his speech and he knows Americans are ready to move on from his ridiculous mandates.” 

It should be viewed as a step in the right direction that members of Congress will be allowed to remove their masks without punishment. However, it shouldn’t surprise Republicans that masks were used as a way to punish members of Congress in the first place. Jim Jordan seems to understand this. After the new mask rule was announced, he tweeted “The masks were always political.”

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