Rep. Thomas Massie, who is suing Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the chamber’s mask penalties, said Clyde changed his tax withholding in a way that makes it nearly impossible for the House to collect the thousands of dollars in fines Clyde has already racked up for evading the House’s metal detector; he could also face fines for refusing to mask up on the House floor this week.
Normally fines are taken out of a member’s congressional salary, but Massie says Clyde, who owns a firearms business, “went to payroll and had his federal withholding raised to $11,284 a month. So he only gets $1 of pay.”
The maneuver is designed to prevent the House from garnishing his wages.
Massie added, “Of course, it all goes to his mask fine. But he’ll have to be elected until 3,324 A.D. for Pelosi to collect $15,000 in fines. Then when he files his tax return, he gets all his money back.”
Clyde’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The House Ethics Committee declined to comment.
Based on the House rules, members first get a warning for evading mask rules, then a $500 fine for a second offense, and $2,500 for offenses after that. The House’s fines for refusing to comply with the chamber’s metal detectors are even steeper: $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for a second offense.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the House fines Rep. Andrew Clyde faces are related to evading metal detectors.