Screaming match breaks out on House floor as Pelosi shuns distancing rules, GOP rep is scolded for selfie

As anticipated, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was narrowly elected speaker of the 117th Congress on Sunday, winning the gavel again by a slim margin of just 7 votes in a 216-209 vote.

With members required to be present to vote, there were concerns about whether COVID-19 may be a factor in the selection of a new speaker, given that Pelosi has the smallest majority in recent history and could not afford to lose votes from members afflicted with the Chinese plague.

But the California Democrat ensured this would not be a problem, as she allowed a member who had just tested positive for the coronavirus, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., to appear and cast a vote in her favor.

Considering that we are talking about Nancy Pelosi, who is a Democrat, this can be done with little media fanfare.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Pelosi’s decision was “wrong,” The Hill reported.

“I couldn’t imagine that [Pelosi] would bring somebody in here that could cause people problems,” McCarthy said.

Pelosi reportedly went the extra mile to ensure that quarantined members could vote, setting up a “Popemobile” like plexiglass structure in the House Gallery, according to journalist John Bresnahan.

“Upon the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician and the House Sergeant at Arms, a secure enclosure has been erected in Gallery 4 of the House Chamber to allow members who are in quarantine status to fulfill their Constitutional duties,” Dr. Brian Monahan, Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress, said in a statement.

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said the “only reason this is happening is because Speaker Pelosi needs to be re-elected speaker,” Bresnahan tweeted. “It’s shameful.”

Which is not to say there weren’t reprimands handed out to some members Sunday.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was reprimanded for taking a selfie on the floor of the House, according to Fox News reporter Chad Pergram.

Greene also drew attention for not wearing a mask, as she and another GOP member were told by House floor staff that they have to put their masks on, according to NBC reporter Jake Sherman.

A “screaming match” broke out on the floor of the House between Democratic and Republican staff, Sherman noted in a tweet — so much for Joe Biden’s call for “unity.”

Here’s a sampling of online responses to Pelosi allowing Rep. Moore to appear on the House floor while reportedly infected with the coronavirus.

Tom Tillison

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