The United States Senate voted Tuesday to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirement forcing Americans to wear masks on public transportation.
The Senate voted 57-40 on the resolution introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. The bill would allow Americans the freedom to decide whether or not to wear a mask on airplanes, trains, and buses. The CDC currently requires travelers to wear masks on public transportation, despite that most Covid-19 restrictions nationwide have been lifted.
Tim Swain, who is running to represent South Carolina in the Senate, tweeted, “BREAKING: U.S. Senate, on a vote of 57-40, just PASSED Sen. Rand Paul’s bill ENDING the airplane/public transportation mask mandate!”
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., asserted, “Americans know by huge margins that it’s time for this airline mask mandate to end.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also expressed his belief that Americans are ready to move past Covid-19 mandates, saying, “The American people understand these mandates make no sense.” He added, “It’s time to end mask mandates. It’s time to end vaccine mandates. It’s time to end vaccine passports.”
Joe Biden and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced an extension of mask mandates on airplanes from March 18 to April 18. A TSA official told Fox News, “At CDC’s recommendation, TSA will extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month, through April 18th.”
“I’ve got a crazy idea, Cruz stated, “The American people should have the same mask rules that members of Congress had at the State of the Union address.” The senator continued, “Just two weeks ago, we saw 535 members of Congress sitting on the floor of the House. I don’t think there were five masks among them.”
Republicans argue that if most settings no longer require masks, Americans should not be forced to wear them while taking public transportation. With many Democrats suddenly changing their minds on mask requirements, Republicans believe the American people should have the freedom to make their own decisions on mask-wearing.
Although Senate Republicans celebrated a win Tuesday with the passage of Sen. Paul’s bill, The Hill reports that the Senate’s resolution is unlikely to pass in the House and overcome a likely veto by Biden.
The Kentucky senator told his colleagues on Tuesday, “We have it within our power today to ensure the American people that we are irreversibly going back to normal.”
While the Senate’s resolution to bring an end to mask requirements on public transportation may face difficulties in the House, this legislation signals to the American people that freedom is returning to the United States as the Covid-19 pandemic fades from the forefront.