U.S. Senate Votes to End Transit Mask Mandate
The U.S. Senate voted today 57 to 40 to overturn a 13-month-old public health order requiring masks on airplanes and other forms of public transportation. The resolution is far from guaranteed to pass all hurdles. It now heads to the House, where it’s not clear if it will go a vote.
The White House has also said that the president will veto it. The repeal vote fell shy of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto.
Last week, the Biden administration extended the requirement for masks on planes and other forms of public transportation for another month, through April 18.
The administration said at the time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in recent days that 98% of Americans now live in places where it is safe to ditch indoor masks.
The mask mandate has resulted in a significant number of incidents on U.S. airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration says since January 2021, there have been a record 6,800 unruly passenger incidents reported. Around 70% of those involved masking rules.