U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) joined her colleague U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) on Thursday in support of his effort to prevent the federal government from mandating masks in the future.
Britt is the cosponsor for Vance's Freedom the Breathe Act (FBA), which, if passed, will prevent the federal government from reimposing mask mandates on domestic airplanes, public transportation and government schools until the end of 2024.
The FBA would also make it illegal for airlines, transit authorities and schools to refuse service to people who choose not to wear a mask.
Britt said on Twitter on Thursday morning that Democrats should support the bill if they don't plan on bringing back lockdowns.
In a few minutes, I’ll join Senator @JDVance1 on the Senate floor as he moves to pass a bill to ban federal mask mandates.— Senator Katie Boyd Britt (@SenKatieBritt) September 7, 2023
I’m proud to cosponsor this commonsense legislation — and if Democrats don’t plan on bringing lockdowns and mandates back, it should pass unanimously. https://t.co/LmjqApzGNX
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) spoke against the bill, which is also sponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummus (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
Vance's bill comes after reports of rising COVID-19 cases, leading some citizens skeptical of lockdowns to suspect an attempted revival of the restrictive policies enacted since the virus first broke out in 2020.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, draconian shutdowns and mask mandates inflicted immense damage across our nation," Britt said in a statement. "Just look at the consequences our children faced, from devastating learning loss that put students years behind to deteriorating mental health in kids and teenagers. Enough is enough."
"More than three years later, it's clear we need to embrace individual liberty and facts rather than a society gripped by fear," she continued. "Democrats have claimed that mask mandates and lockdowns are not coming back – however, their objection to this legislation reveals their true intentions."
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