The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 57-40 to overturn federal mask requirements on airplanes and other forms of public transportation.
A measure introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to use the Congressional Review Act to revoke the Biden administration’s public health requirements received bipartisan support, but provoked a veto threat from President Joe Biden.
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration said that in accordance with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masking requirements for public transportation would be extended through April 18. The mandate would have expired on Friday.
Critics have questioned the need for the requirements given that CDC guidance says 98% of Americans live in places where it is safe to take off masks indoors.
Despite this strong bipartisan showing, it remains to be seen whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will take up the measure in the House of Representatives. Even if the repeal were to pass the House, the White House put Congress on notice that the president would veto it.