Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called a fellow senator “a complete a***” on Monday after the senator asked another lawmaker to wear a mask.
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) was presiding over the Senate on Monday.
When Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was given the floor, he began by asking Sen. Sullivan to put on a mask.
The confrontation led to a brief back-and-forth between the senators:
Brown: I’d start by asking the presiding officer to please wear a mask as he speaks, then people below him are – I can’t tell you what to do, but I know that the behavior –
Sullivan: I don’t wear a mask when I’m speaking, like most senators. I don’t need your instruction.
Brown: I know you don’t need my instruction, but there clearly isn’t much interest in this body in public health.
Sen. Brown then complained about President Trump’s reported absence from months of coronavirus task force meetings, the convening of the Senate to vote on judges, and the exposure of senators and staff members to COVID-19.
Sen. Cruz then took to Twitter, calling Sen. Brown a “complete a**”.
Cruz called Brown’s mask “an ostentatious sign of fake virtue” while the Senator was 50 feet away from the maskless Sullivan.
While Nancy Pelosi has required that all members of the House wear masks while on the floor, the Senate has not enacted similar requirements.
Sullivan appeared on Fox News and Brown appeared on CNN to address the exchange.
Sullivan told Fox News, “Some of these far-left senators like Senator Brown just can’t help themselves on their desire to want to lecture people on these kinds of issues, whether it’s lecturing other US senators or lecturing working families, and I think it’s a put-off.”
“People recognize the challenges,” he continued, ” — we’re going to get through these challenges — but to be lectured or preached to by senior officials is something that I think is not, not, I certainly didn’t appreciate.”
Brown told CNN that it didn’t matter whether he was within six feet of Sullivan, because “there is a Senate stenographer about six feet away, and senators that don’t wear masks are putting them at risk.”
He accused people like Ted Cruz for caring “nothing about essential workers.”