Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter Friday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slamming Democrats for wearing face masks with political campaigns and marijuana leaves on them while on the House floor, saying it is a violation of House rules.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter which Banks sent to Pelosi, calling out the Speaker pro tempore, Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, for wearing a mask with his campaign logo on it. Banks said it is in clear violation of House rules, as campaign pins and other official resources for campaigning are prohibited. Banks also called out Democratic Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer for wearing a mask with marijuana leaves on it.
“I’m writing to you out of concern over the use of facemasks on the House floor that promote both personal political campaigns and the use of recreational drugs and that overall diminish the seriousness and decorum of the House floor. On December 3, 2020, the Speaker pro tempore, Rep. Henry Cuellar, wore a facemask that appeared to display his campaign logo while sitting in the Speakers’ chair,” Banks’ letter to Pelosi reads.
“This is an obvious violation of the House’s prohibition on the use of official resources for campaign purposes. All members are disallowed from wearing campaign pins on the House floor, and this is no different. It also could be considered a violation of, H. Res. 5, which prohibits the use of Congressional broadcasts for partisan political purposes,” Banks continued.
The Daily Caller contacted Banks about the letter, to which he responded by saying: “Over the past year, the standards of decorum on the House floor went out the window. That happened on Nancy Pelosi’s watch, and I don’t see her doing much to make things better in her party. Ripping up the president’s speech and cutting the number of workdays in half doesn’t exactly set a high bar.”
Banks went on to say in the letter that Blumenauer was breaking the House’s Code of Conduct, saying it affects the credibility of the House.
“That same day, during debate over the MORE Act, Rep. Earl Blumenauer wore a facemask covered in marijuana leaves on the House floor. Legality aside, it’s unbecoming for a House member to wear clothing that promotes the use of any recreational drugs on the House floor. It’s a clear violation of the House’s Code of Conduct which prohibits all behavior that does not, ‘reflect creditably on the House.’”
The House passed a bill Friday that would legalize marijuana and expunge prior criminal convictions related to marijuana, in a 228-164 vote. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, introduced by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in 2019, would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminate criminal charges for anyone who “manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”
“Speaker Pelosi, you’ve allowed facemasks to be worn on the House floor that wouldn’t be allowed in a High School assembly hall. It’s unfortunate that some members can’t resist using facemasks that undermine house decorum. The best solution is likely a blanket ban on stylized facemasks,” Banks’ letter concluded.