(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance moved part of his plan to ban masks into a new bill expected to get a vote before the full Senate.
Vance’s latest tactic is to attach an amendment that would ban federal mask mandates on public transit to the Senate minibus bill.
The amendment would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from using federal funds to enforce mask mandates in response to the COVID-19 virus through the current fiscal year.
It would also prevent federal mask mandates on passenger airlines, commuter rail, rapid transit buses and any other transportation program funded through the end of fiscal year 2024.
“Democrats insist mask mandates are never coming back,” Vance, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “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 minibus bill, expected to reach a vote in the Senate, would provide funding for military construction, along with the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
As previously reported by The Center Square, Vance introduced a bill in early September that would stop any federal official, including the president, from implementing a mask mandate through the end of 2024.
It would stop mandates for domestic air travel, public transit systems or primary and secondary schools, along with colleges and universities.
It would also stop airlines, transit authorities and educational institutions from refusing to serve anyone not wearing a mask.
He attempted to force a vote on the legislation Sept. 7, but Democrats objected, stopping unanimous passage and causing it to move through committees.