Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities

Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities
© Greg Nash

Rep. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs MORE (D-Texas) proposed legislation on Monday requiring that masks be worn in federal facilities as coronavirus cases continue to surge in some areas of the U.S.

The Texas Democrat introduced the Wear Your Mask Act, which mandates that people wear masks in federally owned, leased or operated facilities and buildings. 

The requirement would remain in place until the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Trump to take executive action after coronavirus talks collapse | Vaccine official says he'd resign if pressured politically Fauci's DC neighbors put up 'thank you' signs in their yards Cuomo says New York schools can reopen in-person this fall MORE, determines masks are no longer needed to prevent COVID-19 spread.  

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“As Congress continues to work on additional COVID-19 relief efforts, it is incumbent upon us to take simple common sense actions that will prioritize the safety and well-being of federal workers and the general public that visit federal government buildings,” Garcia said in a statement.

These facilities are required to provide face masks at entrances for those who do not own one. The bill allows a federal agency to remove or deny service to anyone who does not wear a mask.

Garcia called for the bill to be included in the next congressional COVID-19 relief package. 

“As Members of Congress, we have a responsibility to keep people safe and we know based on CDC guidelines that wearing a face mask could make the difference between life and death during this pandemic,” she said. 

Original co-sponsors of Garcia’s bill include Reps. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenTennessee Rep. Steve Cohen wins Democratic primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (D-Tenn.), Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.), Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Democrats may bring DHS bill to House floor Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellMichigan Rep. Debbie Dingell easily wins House primary Court orders release of Black Michigan teen who was jailed for missing schoolwork Lobbying world MORE (D-Mich.), Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality Democrats hope clash resonates with key bloc: Women MORE (D-Texas) and André Carson (D-Ind.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonDC delegate demands answers from Secret Service about treatment of two Black moms on Mall Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill requiring federal officers to identify themselves Democrats set to hold out for big police reform MORE (D-D.C.). 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear a cloth face covering in public, especially when social distancing is not possible. 

At least 21 states, including Louisiana and California, have declared that masks must be worn in public, while other states have recommended they be worn.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE has been hesitant to wear a mask in public but did so for the first time over the weekend during his visit to Walter Reed hospital to meet with wounded soldiers. 

The U.S. has confirmed more than 3.3 million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, leading to 135,512 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.