House Republicans introduced a bill Friday to ban the federal government from requiring face masks on public transit.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021 as a companion bill to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) mask mandate legislation in the Senate. According to the legislation, which was first obtained by Fox News, federal agencies would be prohibited from requiring masks aboard public transportation or at any transportation hub.
“There is no scientific evidence for the continuation of mask mandates on public transportation. Bottom line, mask mandates are old news, and are only being kept in place by those who relish controlling our day-to-day lives,” Biggs said. ” The viral spread is collapsing and our normal lives are returning. It’s time for the CDC to follow the science and end the tyrannical COVID-19 restrictions once and for all.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidelines in May saying fully vaccinated individuals are not required to social distance or wear a mask in or out of doors. The CDC at the time recommended “fully vaccinated individuals were still advised to wear masks while in crowded indoor settings, such as while riding public transportation and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters,” Fox News reported.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also extended its mask mandate through Sept. 13. The mandate includes commercial aircraft, airports, commuter bus and rail systems, and over-the-road buses.
“The mask mandate is just another overreach by the power-grabbing administration,” Weber said. “Given the air-circulation technology utilized on most modern airplanes, not to mention the science that corroborates the effectiveness of these innovations, it’s about time that we return to pre-pandemic normalcy by removing this—sometimes arbitrary—restriction from the flying public.”
The bill’s introduction comes just as Los Angeles County began recommending again that people wear masks in indoor settings due to the risk of spreading the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. The county’s recommendation is contradictory to CDC guidelines because it applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
The bill is sponsored by GOP Reps. Randy Weber (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Tom McClintock (CA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Bob Gibbs (OH), Lance Gooden (TX), and Chip Roy (TX).