Hal Rogers apologizes to Joyce Beatty after squabble over mask-wearing

Hal Rogers apologizes to Joyce Beatty after squabble over mask-wearing

Rep. Hal Rogers apologized to Rep. Joyce Beatty on Tuesday after he told the Ohio Democrat to “kiss my a—” when she told him to wear a mask while riding the Capitol subway with her.

“This afternoon, I met with Congresswoman Beatty to personally apologize. My words were not acceptable and I expressed my regret to her, first and foremost,” Mr. Rogers, Kentucky Republican, told The Washington Times in a statement.

Mrs. Beatty, in a tweet, said that she asked Mr. Rogers to wear his mask during their brief trip in the subway car on their way to the Capitol for floor votes.

Mrs. Beatty, however, claims that Mr. Rogers “poked” her in the back.

“Today, while heading to the House floor for votes, I respectfully asked my colleague @RepHalRogers  to put on a mask while boarding the train. He then poked my back, demanding I get on the train. When I asked him not to touch me, he responded, ‘kiss my ass.’”

She added, “This is the kind of disrespect we have been fighting for years, and indicative of the larger issue we have with GOP Members flaunting health and safety mandates designed to keep us and our staff safe.”

Tensions between Republicans and Democrats and their staff are running high over mask-wearing.

Despite signs posted in hallways around the Capitol stating that “use of face covering is required,” some lawmakers and staffers are disregarding the rule around the Capitol complex from time to time causing consternation.

Additionally, while wearing masks is a rule on the House side of the Capitol, which includes a hefty fine imposed on lawmakers who go maskless on the House floor, it is only strongly encouraged in the Senate.

Health, The New York Today