Washington, DC – Republicans are furious over a memo from newly-sworn U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Thomas Manger ordering officers to enforce the latest mask mandate on the House side of the Capitol building.
In the bulletin sent to officers on Wednesday, Chief Manger explained that Capitol Attending Physician Brian P. Monahan had instituted an inside mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, on the House side of the U.S. Capitol building and in all House office buildings, The Hill reported.
Monahan did not reinstitute the mask requirement on the Senate side, prompting critics to call the mandate an effort by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to exert control over half of the Capitol complex.
The memo to USCP officers from the chief on July 28 made it clear that the police department was taking the mandate seriously, The Hill reported.
“If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to the House Office Buildings or House-side of the U.S. Capitol,” Chief Manger wrote. “Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry.”
The same rules apply to members of Congress, but the police chief told officers not to stop them from entering and instead report the bad behavior to their supervisors, according to The Hill.
Supervisors “will, in turn, refer the matter to the House Sergeant at Arms,” for resolution, according to Chief Manger’s memo.
In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals.
For Members, they advise not arresting but “reporting Members to SAA for their failure to comply.”
— Congresswoman Kat Cammack (@RepKatCammack) July 29, 2021
“This is some serious nanny-state stuff that will only breed resentment. No kidding,” U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas complained on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
Roy said members would do better to focus on border security than masks.
Controversial freshman U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) was handed a mask after she entered the House chamber following the latest mandate, The Washington Post reported.
Boebert has been outspoken in her objections to requiring masks.
Much ado was made about Chief Manger’s memo instructing officers to arrest non-compliant visitors and staff after all other efforts to de-escalate the situation have failed, The Hill reported.
The police chief was quick to issue a statement that clarified his believe that “there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested,” FOX News reported.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) July 29, 2021
U.S Representative Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) said the memo to the officers regarding enforcement came down from the Speaker’s office.
“To be clear: Pelosi is directing police to ARREST vaccinated people who aren’t wearing masks,” Scalise tweeted. “This isn’t about science—it’s about power and control.”
But Pelosi’s office rebuffed assertions that Chief Manger’s memo was in response to her request for a crackdown.
“The speaker of the House does not control the U.S. Capitol Police,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told FOX News. “We were unaware of the memo until it was reported in the press.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) pointed out the hypocrisy, inconsistency, and impracticality of the edict on only one side of the U.S. Capitol complex, FOX News reported.
“If you are a Capitol police officer you got orders… if a vaccinated staffer comes across in the House side without a mask you’re ordered to arrest them, but not on the Senate side,” McCarthy said. “This is not the America we know.”