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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance’s (R-OH) amendment to the Senate minibus appropriations bill, which will prohibit the Department of Transportation from using any federal funds to enforce mask mandates, passed both the House and the Senate and will now go to President Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law. The ban prevents the enforcement of federal mask mandates on passenger airlines, commuter rail, rapid transit buses, and any other transportation program funded through Fiscal Year 2024.

“The era of public health panic is over,” said Senator Vance. “Tonight, my amendment to prohibit COVID-19 mask mandates by the Department of Transportation—including the FAA—passed the Senate. Joe Biden will soon be forced to sign this into law. This is a massive victory for common sense. Mask mandates were an outrageous overstep by the public health establishment. We cannot allow this mistake to be repeated.”

For Background:

  • In October, Senator Vance filed the amendment to the Senate appropriations bill, which passed the Senate the following day.
    • “This is a massive victory for personal freedom in this country,” said Senator Vance. “We saw countless abuses of authority throughout the COVID pandemic, and the American people were justifiably enraged by unscientific mask mandates. Today, the United States Senate took an emphatic step toward common sense and individual liberty. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here and look forward to continuing the fight.”
  • In September, Senator Vance introduced the Freedom to Breathe Act to prevent the reimposition of federal mask mandates in the United States.
    • “We tried mask mandates once in this country. They failed to control the spread of respiratory viruses, violated basic bodily freedom, and set our fellow citizens against one another,” said Senator Vance. “This legislation will ensure that no federal bureaucracy, no commercial airline, and no public school can impose the misguided policies of the past. Democrats say they’re not going to bring back mask mandates – we’re going to hold them to their word.”
  • That same month, Senator JD Vance held a joint press conference on his push to ban federal mask mandates. The effort was joined by Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Ted Budd (R-NC), & Eric Schmitt (R-MO).
  • Senator Vance’s bill also earned the endorsement of the U.S. Air Marshal Association.