GOP Senators Introduce Resolution to Update Federal Mask Mandate Rules
Republican senators this week introduced a resolution aimed to urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update the federal mask mandate requiring face coverings to be worn on modes of public transportation.
The resolution, offered by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), calls on the Biden-led CDC to “review and update its guidance relating to mask-wearing in confined places.”
…encourages the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review and update its guidance relating to mask-wearing in confined places to clarify that individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a mask on public transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems.
The resolution also states that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should update its mask requirements:
…to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, to permit fully vaccinated individuals to travel on all transportation networks throughout the United States without wearing a mask.
“Over 150 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated and mask mandates have been lifted across the country,” Sen. Cruz said in a statement on the resolution, noting the CDC has “inexplicably” failed to lift the mask mandate for public transportation.
“It’s long past time for President Biden and the CDC to follow the science and end this mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals,” he said, adding that Americans “should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day with their friends and loved ones without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate.”
Sens. Collins, Moran, Wicker, Lummis, and Blackburn concurred.
“Joe Biden has lectured Americans to ‘follow the science.’ It’s clear that this rhetoric was just another way for the radical left and big government to control Americans,” Sen. Blackburn said.
“Experts have been clear for months — if you are vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask. It’s time we end these absurd political charades and start following the science,” she added.
Sen. Collins added that she spoke with two flight attendants about the federal mask mandate for air travel, noting that one of them was ” frightened by what would happen if she tried to enforce the mandate.”
“The CDC recently released recommendations significantly curtailing mask requirements both in indoor and outdoor settings,” Collins said.
“It makes no sense that someone can go to a restaurant without wearing a mask, but they cannot fly on an airplane without one even though it has a far better ventilation system,” the Maine Republican added.
Senate Democrats blocked a GOP effort to end the federal mask mandate this week, as Breitbart News reported:
“The government has no right to tell them what to do,” Scott said of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the floor Wednesday, asking why the government agency continues to single out airlines and public transportation. “Now, the science is clear that broad mask mandates aren’t necessary. Unfortunately, the CDC has decided to buck the science when it comes to travel and it is still requiring face masks on public transportation,” he said.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) opposed the measure, citing the spread of the Delta variant and the number of unvaccinated people in the U.S.
The order “requiring the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus]” went into effect February 1st and is not set to expire until September.