Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unveiled legislation on Wednesday to end the federal mask mandate on public transportation, a day after Justice Clarence Thomas denied blocking of the mandate.
The bill, titled the “Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021,” would prohibit the federal government from imposing a mask mandate on any “transportation hub.”
“The federal government forcing the American people to continue to wear masks despite the fact that we’ve already reached herd immunity is ridiculous and needs to end immediately,” Paul said in a statement.
The original mask mandate was established on January 29, 2021 and was set to expire on May 11, though the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended it until September 13, according to The Hill.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R- Ark.), Sen. Roger Marshall (R- Kan.), and Roger Wicker (R- Miss.) all joined Paul as cosponsors.
The GOP-backed legislation hopes to kill the same mandate that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas essentially upheld a day earlier on Tuesday.
This mask mandate was challenged by Lucas Wall after he was disallowed to board a flight maskless from Orlando to Germany earlier this month — despite being fully vaccinated from COVID-19, CNN reported.
Wall says he was effectively banned from public transport under Biden’s mandate because he could not comply with masking guidelines due to an anxiety disorder.
His petition sought to block the mandate on the grounds that it violated an individual’s Fifth Amendment right to due process along with several other constitutional provisions cited in the text of the request.
Though Thomas rejected Wall’s efforts, several GOP Congressmen are hoping to grant legislative relief.
“Bottom line, mask mandates are old news, and are only being kept in place by those who relish controlling our day-to-day lives,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who will introduce companion legislation to Paul’s in the House.
“The viral spread is collapsing and our normal lives are returning,” Biggs continued. “It’s time for the CDC to follow the science and end the tyrannical COVID-19 restrictions once and for all.”