Senate Democrats Oppose JD Vance’s Bill to Ban Federal Mask Mandates

Senate Democrats on Thursday opposed a request from Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, for ground consideration of a invoice banning federal COVID-19 masks mandates.

The movement was blocked by Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, who claimed the laws would “hamstring public well being consultants who guided our nation out of the pandemic.” Markey has a historical past of supporting masks mandates — in December 2020, he called states without mask mandates “harmful” and promoted his Encouraging Masks For All Act, laws asking states to implement masks mandates when social distancing shouldn’t be potential.

“All of us have gone via the experiment of obligatory masking,” Vance mentioned Thursday, earlier than Markey blocked the movement. “Right this moment I need to be certain that we don’t topic the folks to the tyranny for the sake of nothing.”

The opposition signifies that Democrats are open to imposing future masks mandates on Americans, Vance’s workplace said in a release Wednesday: “Any ground objection to Senator Vance’s unanimous consent request would quantity to a transparent admission that Democrats intend to reimpose masks mandates within the close to time period.”

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sports activities a face masks throughout Senate Democrats’ information convention on the Capitol on Nov. 30, 2021. (Photograph: Invoice Clark/CQ-Roll Name/Getty Pictures)

The Freedom to Breathe Act would ban all federal officers, together with President Joe Biden, “from issuing masks mandates making use of to home air journey, public transit methods, or major, secondary, and post-secondary colleges.”

“We tried masks mandates as soon as on this nation. They failed to manage the unfold of respiratory viruses, violated fundamental bodily freedom, and set our fellow residents in opposition to each other,” Vance mentioned in an announcement earlier this week.

He added: “This laws will make sure that no federal forms, no industrial airline, and no public faculty can impose the misguided insurance policies of the previous. Democrats say they’re not going to carry again masks mandates—we’re going to carry them to their phrase.”

Samantha Renck contributed to this report.

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