A group of Republican members of Congress sue CDC over air travel mask mandate

A group of Republican members of Congress filed a lawsuit Monday against the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling for the agency to end the mask mandate for air travel.

Air travel is one of the last bastions for mask mandates, as most of them have ended nationwide.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie is leading the lawsuit. 16 other Republicans have joined Massie, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. 

In a statement, Massie said, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have the legal authority to force people traveling on commercial airlines to wear masks.” 

Massie added: “Congress never passed a law requiring masks on commercial flights. This lawsuit targets the faceless bureaucrats who are behind the CDC’s unscientific regulation so that this illegal mask mandate can be brought to a permanent end.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted, “In honor of the TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of 15 Days To Slow The Spread, I’ve joined 16 of my colleagues in suing the CDC to END the mask mandate on airplanes. It should be a personal choice, not an unscientific mandate!”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that he was proud that he has been “leading the charge in the Senate to end these unscientific, unconstitutional mask mandates.” 

He added that he was “proud to continue the fight by joining Rep. Massie on this effort.”

In a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last week, 90 Republican members of Congress signed a letter urging the agency not to renew the air travel mask mandate that was set to expire on March 18.

The Republican members said the following:

“We write today regarding the upcoming March 18, 2022 expiration of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) mask mandate. Given strong declines in COVID-19 cases and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance eliminating indoor mask requirements for much of the population, we believe TSA’s mask mandate should be allowed to expire later this month.”

The TSA refused to acquiesce to the Republican members’ request. The TSA announced an extension on the mask mandate for air travel until April 18.

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