Iowa Speaker Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate Does Enforce No Jean Rule
Iowa's Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley is the grandson of outspoken United States Senator Chuck Grassley. He had repeatedly said that he can't require lawmakers to wear masks on the House floor to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Grassley however did enforce a 'No Jeans' rule on the house floor. As the Iowa House rules state "no member of the general assembly or legislative employee or intern shall be admitted to the floor of the House if attired in jeans of any color without leave of the speaker."
Democratic Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell of Ames decided she would test that rule on Tuesday and wore her blue jeans during the House debate. She was asked to go and change them but she refused to do so.
According to the Des Moines Register House Speaker Pat Grassley stated to Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell that because of the jean infraction, "You will not be recognized to speak for debate. You can continue to vote from the floor."
To which Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell responded "They’re brand-new, they’re clean, they don’t have any holes in them. They’re not hurting anybody. Not wearing a mask can kill people, and we have had people here, we have a member who was exposed to it and is now COVID positive at home. And there are five or six of their members who are never wearing masks. This is dangerous and they’re putting all of us in danger. So if they can enforce a denim dress code they can also enforce a mask mandate."