Senate Republicans urge CDC to lift public transportation mask mandate

Senate Republicans urge CDC to lift public transportation mask mandate
© Greg Nash

A group of GOP lawmakers led by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas) on Friday introduced a resolution formally calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift its mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals on public transportation. 

Cruz, along with Republican Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsLooking to the past to secure America's clean energy future Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike MORE (Maine), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act before slow mail turns into no mail Kaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate Seven-figure ad campaign urges GOP to support infrastructure bill MORE (Kan.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerGOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Rep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (Miss.), Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Crypto debate set to return in force Crypto industry seeks to build momentum after losing Senate fight MORE (Wyo.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnBig Tech should pay for damaging mental health Facebook to testify in Senate after report finds Instagram harms mental health House Oversight Democrat presses Facebook for 'failure' to protect users MORE (Tenn.), argued that the CDC’s guidance that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most settings should also apply when traveling on commercial planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transit. 

President BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE on his first full day in office signed an executive order directing federal agencies to “immediately take action” to require masks on public transportation. 

ADVERTISEMENT

While the federal mask mandate was initially set to expire May 11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has since extended it to Sept. 13. 

However, Cruz and his colleagues said in their resolution Friday that “science shows that individuals fully vaccinated against COVID–19 are protected against asymptomatic infection, and thus very unlikely to spread the disease,” adding that Americans “have sacrificed immensely” throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a press release announcing the resolution, Cruz said, “It's long past time for President Biden and the CDC to follow the science and end this mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals.

“Americans should be able to travel to celebrate Independence Day with their friends and loved ones without having to follow an outdated and unnecessary mandate,” he added. 

Collins in a statement included in the release said she had spoken with flight attendants who had expressed fears on enforcing the federal mask mandate amid multiple viral incidents showing passengers attacking or threatening workers over the safety restrictions. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“It makes no sense that someone can go to a restaurant without wearing a mask, but they cannot fly on an airplane without one even though it has a far better ventilation system,” Collins argued. 

The resolution comes just days after Democrats blocked a bill from Senate Republicans that would have revoked Biden’s mask requirement on public transit. 

GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook MORE (Utah), who had introduced the bill, cited the nation’s vaccination rates in arguing against the need for a face mask requirement. 

However, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBuilding strong public health capacity across the US Texas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill MORE (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said when blocking the bill, “This virus is still spreading, it is still mutating, it is still costing lives, and it is still leaving survivors with long-haul symptoms.” 

“We cannot pretend this pandemic is over,” she added.