A top Democrat in the House of Representatives this week suggested an idea to protect members from possible COVID-19 infections as some colleagues refuse to follow mask requirements in the House chamber despite being repeatedly fined for the rule violation.

In a letter to House Sergeant at Arms William Walker, Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark said the fines were not enough and suggested the use of "isolation boxes" for members who show up without a mask.

"This commonsense step will not only protect our dedicated House staff from Members who refuse to follow House rules, but it will also allow those Members to continue to fulfill their constitutional duty to vote on matters before the House," Clark wrote in the letter sent Tuesday.

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Clark, 58, said requiring her mask-free colleagues to be isolated in plexiglass in the House gallery would be in addition to current penalties. "Fines are not enough," she tweeted.

Two members of the Georgia delegation, Reps. Majorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde, have racked up more than $100,000 in fines for violating the mask rule. Clark mentioned the eye-popping dollar amount they're expected to pay, which includes $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense.

Rep. Clyde has contested his fines. (He argued, in part, that because President Joe Biden went maskless during an April 2021 appearance in the House, the penalties suggested "selective enforcement.")

The Washington Post reports that the House Ethics Committee announced Monday that he violated the rule seven times in November and again in December.

Andrew Clyde, Marjorie Taylor Greene

Greene, who's reportedly been fined more than 30 times, told PEOPLE in a statement in December that "American people have had enough and are standing up against these outrageous and unconstitutional policies."

"I will continue my stand on the House floor against authoritarian Democrat mandates, because I don't want the American people to stand alone," she said then.

"This callous disregard for House rules endangers the health of Members of Congress and the professional staff whose physical presence is required to ensure continuity of government," Clark wrote in her letter on Tuesday.

The attending physician for Congress, Rear Adm. Brian Monahan, said at the start of the new term that the number of COVID cases on Capitol Hill was "unprecedented" and "affecting hundreds of individuals."

The seven-day average rates of infection recorded at the Capitol's testing center has risen sharply from less than 1% to more than 13%, Monahan wrote in a letter to congressional leaders earlier this month.

Clark cited Monahan's remarks in her letter to urge new safety measures in the House. "These boxes were designed to minimize the risk of exposure to quarantined Members, yet those who refuse to mask pose the same or higher risk of exposing individuals around them to COVID," she wrote.

Original story HERE