Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities

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

Rep. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaBiden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip K Street navigates virtual inauguration week 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 Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine Overnight Health Care: CDC study links masks to fewer COVID-19 deaths | Relief debate stalls in Senate | Biden faces criticism over push to vaccinate teachers Watch live: White House coronavirus response team holds briefing MORE, determines masks are no longer needed to prevent COVID-19 spread.  


“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 CohenFeds looking at communications between lawmakers, Capitol rioters: report Missouri man indicted for allegedly threatening two congressmen Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot MORE (D-Tenn.), Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (D-N.Y.), Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardHouse Democrats introduce bill providing citizenship to Dreamers Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellLawmakers offer gun control bill to end 'boyfriend loophole' Michigan Democrat Dingell on violent rhetoric: 'I've had men in front of my house with assault weapons' Dingell 'very concerned' about lowering threshold for stimulus MORE (D-Mich.), Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill El Paso shooting survivor deported to Mexico after traffic stop House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (D-Texas) and André Carson (D-Ind.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonBiden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure Duckworth, Norton call for improved accessibility for the blind at FDR memorial OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections MORE (D-D.C.). 


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 TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food 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.