The 117th Congress has been in session for about an hour, and the drama has already started in the House.
There are multiple reports that Democrat and Republican floor staff got into a shouting match because Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.), one of the more controversial newly-elected GOP lawmakers, and another unidentified freshman Republican refused to put their masks on the House floor in defiance of COVID-19 protocols.
Not even one hour into to 117th Congress and there is now a shouting match between the Dem and Republican floor staff after Marjorie Taylor Greene was told, and refused, to put on her mask on the House floor.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 3, 2021
Despite the commotion, they reportedly were not asked to leave the chamber.
Republicans are also reportedly upset that a plexiglass voting area has been set up in the gallery so that lawmakers who are supposed to be quarantining because of exposure to the coronavirus, but have not tested positive themselves, can vote in the House speaker elections later in the day. That description applies to two unnamed Democrats and one unknown Republican, though Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) argued the “shameful” decision was made only because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is determined to win re-election and can’t afford too many absences within her party.
/3 @RodneyDavis, top R on the House Administration Cmte, is very upset about this “Popemobile” built in the House Gallery for quarantined members. He says the “only reason this is happening is because Speaker Pelosi needs to be re-elected speaker.” “It’s shameful.”
— John Bresnahan (@bresreports) January 3, 2021
Meanwhile, things reportedly went much more smoothly in the Senate.
I see @lindsemcpherson is having a far more interesting swearing-in day than in the Senate, where senators-elect are being sworn-in two at a time by Mike Pence with no issues.
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) January 3, 2021