Senate votes to repeal travel mask mandates in bipartisan rebuke of Biden administration policy

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Irrespective of the resolution succeeding in the Senate, it is unlikely to move in the Democratic-led Property and would likely be opposed by President Joe Biden. The White Dwelling experienced issued a veto risk against the proposal previously Tuesday.

The remaining vote was 57-40, with eight Democrats signing up for Republicans in favor of the resolution. Just one GOP senator voted versus the evaluate: Mitt Romney of Utah.

The Democrats who voted to rid of the mask mandate are: the senators from Nevada, Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto the senators from Arizona, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema Michael Bennet of Colorado, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Jon Tester of Montana.

Kelly, Bennet, Cortez Masto and Hassan are all up for reelection this yr.

Paul forced a vote on his resolution making use of the Congressional Overview Act. The act allows senators to overturn federal agencies’ laws in just a specified time body and can do it by a the vast majority threshold without the need of owning to clear the typical 60 votes to prevail over a legislative filibuster.
Earlier this thirty day period, the Biden administration announced it would lengthen the federal general public transportation mask mandate by means of April 18. The extension comes while a lot of mask mandates have been rescinded in states and educational facilities throughout the nation as coronavirus scenarios have plummeted considering that the Omicron surge before this year. The go also will come as Republicans have held strain on the White Residence and congressional Democrats to ease a variety of federal necessities built to battle Covid-19.

In advance of the vote, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia urged his colleagues not to back Paul’s resolution, arguing the federal vacation mask mandate is established to expire future month and Congress should really make it possible for the Facilities for Disease Manage and Prevention time to come up with new steerage.

“In its place, let us get the job done with the CDC and see what guidance they appear up with for this April 18 deadline. That would be considerably far better for general public wellness and considerably superior for our financial system,” Kaine mentioned in remarks on the Senate flooring.

Paul, who sits on the Senate Health Committee, has been one particular of the loudest and strongest GOP opponents of mask-wearing and has not typically been seen by CNN donning a mask during the pandemic.

Facial coverings, even so, have been one particular of the most successful public health measures to avert transmission of the coronavirus, according to industry experts.

“Considering that March 2020, unelected bureaucrats have incessantly declared that we must ‘follow the science.’ But the exact bureaucrats proceed to defy science by imposing an ineffective and restrictive mask mandate for individuals touring on public transit and airplanes,” mentioned Paul, who is also an ophthalmologist, in a recent statement on his options to power a vote on the resolution. “As the total planet is learning to reside with COVID, the federal authorities still makes use of fear mongering to stubbornly perpetuate its mandates, relatively than giving very clear-eyed, rational assistance on how to best defend on your own from illness.”

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the rating GOP member of the Senate Commerce Committee, included on Tuesday that Republicans are building this “typical-perception ask for of the administration on behalf of the American persons.”

“When the guidelines of governing administration do not comply with popular sense, it offends no cost Us residents to have to abide by some foolish rule and you can assume the objections we are hearing from the community,” he explained at a news meeting.

This is not the initially Congressional Evaluate Act resolution the Senate has taken up this Congress. Past 12 months, the Senate permitted a resolution to block Biden’s vaccine mandate on non-public businesses.

CNN’s Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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