(PresidentialInsider.com)- Republican Rand Paul was successful in getting a bill passed that in the Senate that would overturn President Joe Biden’s federal mask mandate.
However, it was no thanks to Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican senator to vote against the measure.
Earlier this week, the Senate vote 57-40 in favor of Paul’s resolution. The proposal calls for the federal government to reduce the requirements set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, most people are required to wear a mask while they ride transportation, which includes airplanes, buses and trains.
Eight Democratic senators voted in favor of Rand’s proposal. They were Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, and Michael Bennet of Colorado.
But, Romney sided with the majority of Democrats on the issue. Last week, the White House announced that it would be extending the current mask mandate on public transportation through at least April 18.
Following the vote, Paul said in a statement:
“Today, the Senate said enough is enough, and sent a message to unelected government bureaucrats to stop the anti-science, nanny state requirement of travel mask mandates.
“Since March 2020, unelected bureaucrats have incessantly declared that we should ‘follow the science.’ But, the same bureaucrats continue to defy science by imposing an ineffective and restrictive mask mandate for individuals travelling on public transit and airplanes.”
This is a major win for Paul and the Republicans in the Senate. However, it is likely to face stiff opposition in the Democrat-led House of Representatives. Even if it were to somehow pass through the lower chamber, it would likely face a veto from Biden. And according to the vote numbers from Tuesday, the Senate wouldn’t have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
Earlier in the year, the Senate passed other resolutions that would nix the public health emergency for the coronavirus pandemic and would remove the requirement for public health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, neither of those measures have passed through the House, and neither likely will under its current makeup.
After the bill was passed, some Democratic senators came out against the bill. One was Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who in the past has talked about suffering from long-term symptoms from coronavirus. He urged colleagues in the Senate to instead work closely with the CDC on new rules rather than forcing them to pull back the requirements.
“I would urge my colleagues strongly to stand with smart economic policy and wise public health policy.”
Paul, however, took a much more direct approach when he continued to criticize the CDC. He said in his statement:
“As the entire world is learning to live with COVID, the federal government still uses fear mongering to stubbornly perpetuate its mandates, rather than giving clear-eyed, rational advice on how to best protect yourself from illness. That is why I forced this vote, and I applaud the Senate for rejecting this nonsense.”