GOP lawmaker apologizes for insulting Democrat Over Masks | Ohio News
By FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Republican lawmaker apologized Tuesday night for using a swear word when Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty asked him to put on his mask on Capitol Hill.
The confrontation was just the latest dust in the House on mask-wearing, which many Republicans have refused to do.
Earlier Tuesday, Beatty, D-Ohio, met Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., outside his congressional office. Rogers, who has served in Congress since 1981, was without a mask when they entered an elevator.
Beatty asked her to put on her mask and Rogers reluctantly agreed, she said in an interview with The Associated Press shortly after it happened.
Rogers then removed his mask as they descended from the elevator and the two passed each other again while entering a train in the Capitol complex. That’s when the interaction turned hostile.
Beatty again asked Rogers to put his mask back on.
“He pricked me in the middle of my back and said, ‘Get on the train,'” she said. “And I said, ‘Never touch me. “”
According to Beatty, Rogers replied, “Kiss my a—.”
In video obtained by the AP, Beatty can be heard asking Rogers for an apology on the train.
“I hate to think if it had been reversed and a colored man…they would have kicked him out of the ground,” Beatty said.
Beatty is black and Rogers is white.
In a statement shortly after the incident, Rogers said he met with Beatty and apologized.
“My words were not acceptable and I expressed my regret to him, first and foremost,” the congressman said.
The apology came less than two hours after the 56-member Congressional Black Caucus, chaired by Beatty, stood on the House steps and demanded an apology from Rogers.
“For a member of the United States House of Representatives to tell another member to kiss his a—, I tell you today that this is not America we will accept,” Rep. Val said. Demings, D-Fla., to reporters on the pitch.
Beatty said on Tuesday evening that she had accepted Rogers’ apology, adding, “As I have done throughout the pandemic, I will continue to champion health and safety measures. And as I did today, I will never condone bullying, no matter who does it.
Several Republican lawmakers have racked up thousands of dollars in fines for going without a mask on the floor of the House.
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