Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat representing Ohio’s 3rd district, said in a Tuesday tweet that on her way to the House floor, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) “poked my back” and told her to “kiss my ass,” when she asked him to put on a mask.
According to Beatty, the two had been about to board a cramped train in the Capitol Building to the House floor, when she says she “respectfully asked my colleague Rep. Hal Rogers to put on a mask while boarding the train.” In response, Beatty says Rogers “then poked my back, demanding I get on the train,” and when she asked him “not to touch me, he responded, ‘kiss my ass.’”
According to Beatty, Rogers’ behavior isn’t an anomaly. “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,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet. Beatty called on Rogers to “grow up and apologize for your behavior.”
Beatty’s account comes amid more and more, increasingly confrontational and dangerous behaviors from anti-mask, anti-vax, conservative Congress members that place their colleagues at risk of covid exposure. Last January, Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri moved her office away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) after a confrontation in which Bush called out Greene for not wearing a mask in the hallway on Capitol Hill.
During the Jan. 6 insurrection last year, as Congress members were locked down indoors, several Republican members refused to put on masks, leading to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) contracting covid days later.
Beatty’s experience is just the latest in a string of disturbing accounts of Democratic Congress members being verbally harassed or otherwise harmed and put at risk by Republican colleagues, whose recent acts range from allegedly conspiring with Jan. 6 insurrectionists to sharing unhinged anime videos that portray them killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The “pro-life” party, indeed.