GOP Lawmaker Threatened With Fine Over Controversial Video From House Floor

A Republican lawmaker was threatened with a fine after sharing a video of Democrats waving Ukrainian flags on the House floor, igniting greater tension about a recently approved yet controversial foreign aid package.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) posted on X on April 20 a clip of Representatives celebrating the passage of legislation that will provide financial aid to America’s foreign allies. The measure was passed in the House over the weekend after considerable backlash among Republicans, including calls for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to resign.

The aid package—supported by Johnson and passed in the Senate on Tuesday—would designate billions of dollars for foreign allies, including Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

When passed in the House, many Democratic members of the chamber unveiled small and large Ukrainian flags to wave in celebration. The move was seen as highly disrespectful by a number of Republicans, including Massie, who criticized the response as an example of the state of the chamber under Johnson’s leadership. He also blasted the approval of foreign security measures while America’s southern border remains in a heated immigration crisis.

On April 23, Massie returned to X to share that the House Sergeant at Arms had informed him he would “be fined $500 if I don’t delete this video post” of Democrats waving Ukrainian flags. The Kentucky Republican once again accused Johnson’s leadership as enabling “this betrayal of America.”

Both posts received thousands of impressions, including a response from X owner Elon Musk, who questioned the justification and reality of being fined for posting a video to a public social media platform. The entrepreneur rebranded the site after buying it, presenting it as a free speech platform that does not remove or censor content based on political opinions.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took to the platform to declare she, too, would have to be fined, as she shared the same video of the legislators she described as “America last traitors.” Greene called for Johnson’s resignation on Sunday after the passage of the foreign aid package, threatening that he would be vacated if he did not leave willingly. Her motion was later picked up by Massie, who has publicly criticized the Speaker since.

Even with the tension, though, Johnson redeemed some of the insults accrued during the incident by sharing on X that he had been “viewing” the post with his team. Subsequently, the Speaker explained that they had contacted the Sergeant at Arms and stated, “there will be no fine imposed on Rep. Massie.”

He also added that he does “not agree with this assessment” that there should ever have been a fine. Massie applauded the move online but did not retract any of his insults or accusations of the House Speaker.