Senate

Senate votes to nix mask mandate for public transportation

The Senate on Tuesday voted to nix a requirement to wear masks on public transportation as the country rolls back coronavirus rules and restrictions.

Senators voted 57-40 on the resolution, which would reduce Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements that most people wear masks on public transportation, including trains, airplanes and buses. 

The bill was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.) and Maggie Hassan (N.H.) each voted for it. 

Hassan, Kelly, Bennet and Cortez Masto are up for reelection in November. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who is not, was the only GOP senator to vote against the resolution.

Despite the win for Paul, the resolution is likely to hit a wall in the House. It would also need to overcome a likely veto by President Biden.

“We have it within our power today to ensure the American people that we are irreversibly going back to normal,” Paul said during a floor speech. 

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who has talked about having long-term coronavirus symptoms, urged his colleagues to work with the CDC.

“I would urge my colleagues strongly to stand with smart economic policy and wise public health policy,” Kaine said.

The vote comes after Republicans were also able to pass resolutions earlier this year to nix the coronavirus public health emergency and the vaccine requirement for public health workers. Both have yet to pass the House.

Tags Catherine Cortez Masto Jacky Rosen Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester Kyrsten Sinema Maggie Hassan Mark Kelly Michael Bennet Mitt Romney Rand Paul Tim Kaine

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