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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) has filed an amendment to the Senate minibus appropriations bill that would prohibit the Department of Transportation from using any federal funds to enforce mask mandates in response to the COVID-19 virus through the current fiscal year. The ban would prevent federal mask mandates on passenger airlines, commuter rail, rapid transit buses, and any other transportation program funded through Fiscal Year 2024.

“Democrats insist mask mandates are never coming back,” said Senator Vance. “Well I’ve got an amendment that will prohibit the Department of Transportation from enforcing mask mandates on public transit. If what Democrats say is true, they should have no problem voting for it.”

The Vance amendment was first reported by Punchbowl News:

For Background:

  • In September, Senator Vance introduced the Freedom to Breathe Act, which would have prevented 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.