Washington, D.C., September 7, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) today joined Republican colleagues on the Senate floor in support of legislation authored by Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) that would ban future federal mask mandates.
Senator Vance’s Freedom to Breathe Act, co-sponsored by Senator Britt, would prohibit any federal official, including the President, from issuing mask mandates applying to domestic air travel, public transit systems, or primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools. The legislation would also prohibit air carriers, transit authorities, and educational institutions from refusing service to individuals who choose not to wear a mask.
The Senate considered the legislation today under unanimous consent, which allows for a measure to be considered passed and sent to the House of Representatives unless another senator raises an objection. During consideration of the Freedom to Breathe Act, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) objected to passage.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, draconian shutdowns and mask mandates inflicted immense damage across our nation. 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. Democrats have claimed that mask mandates and lockdowns are not coming back – however, their objection to this legislation reveals their true intentions,” Senator Britt said.
Earlier this week, an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland reimposed a mask mandate for students.
In addition to Senators Britt and Vance, this legislation is co-sponsored by Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).