Senate GOP Touts Freedom to Breathe Act

Today, Senator JD Vance led Senate Republicans in a press conference in support of the Freedom to Breathe Act, legislation to stop federal mask mandates in schools and public transportation. 

In case you missed it, here’s what Republican Senators said about the harmful impacts of federal mask mandates.

Senator JD Vance (OH)

“We introduced this legislation to stop the federal government from re-imposing mask mandates — I see this gnawing hysteria start to creep back into the country.

“We’ve learned that mask mandates caused a lot of learning disabilities a lot of speech problems. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past, let’s not force that on our kids. I’m also worried about the airline passengers who were caught up in this ridiculous culture war over mask mandates.

“Why do this again when we know it just divides our citizens against each other?”

Senator John Thune (SD)

“It’s an example of when you give the Democrats an inch, they’ll take a mile […] I hope that we can get this issue addressed once and for all and do away with egregious policies and mandates that make it so much more difficult for our kids and people in this country to be able to go about their business on a daily basis — to socialize and particularly for our kids to be able to learn at the fastest rate possible. Let’s end this really bad idea once and for all.”

Senator John Barrasso (WY)

“The last thing we need is another one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government and Washington telling us what to do once again […] I’m a doctor. I understand the medicine of this. As a public servant, I also understand the importance of protecting our freedoms, our liberties, our rights, and that’s what the Freedom to Breathe Act does — protects our freedoms, protects our liberty, protects our rights.”

Senator Cynthia Lummis (WY)

“Have we learned nothing from the time during COVID when children’s faces were covered, their teachers’ faces were covered, and they were trying to learn in an environment where you can’t be responsive? We need to restore sanity. We must learn from the mistakes that we made as a country during COVID.”

Senator Ted Budd (NC)

“The American people have simply had enough […] If someone doesn’t want to wear a mask, that’s fine. They shouldn’t be punished, and they should be respected. If someone wants to wear a mask, that’s fine too. But we shouldn’t be forcing citizens to wear a mask, period.”

Senator Eric Schmitt (MO)

“People often say that power corrupts, power reveals. I think during COVID it revealed a desire by some for command and control and has had devastating impacts, particularly on our kids […] What we do know is the impact from these mask mandates have been devastating […] So, for the folks who want to bring this back again, all of us are here to say, we’re not going to allow you to do that.”