CV NEWS FEED // Sen. Ed Markey, D-MA, blocked a bill that would have ended federal mask mandates in schools and on planes almost immediately after it was proposed.
The “Freedom to Breathe Act” was sponsored by Sen. J.D. Vance, R-OH, and co-sponsored by three other members of the Senate’s Republican minority.
Markey on Thursday blocked Vance’s request for floor consideration of the bill. This means that the Senate, which has a razor-thin Democratic majority, will not hold a vote on it.
The Massachusetts senator claimed the legislation would “hamstring public health experts who guided our nation out of the pandemic.”
Mary Margaret Olohan of The Daily Signalwrote that “Markey has a history of supporting mask mandates: In December 2020, he called states without mask mandates ‘dangerous’ and promoted his Encouraging Masks For All Act, legislation asking states to implement mask mandates when social distancing is not possible.”
As CatholicVote reported Wednesday, the text of Vance’s bill states that its purpose is “to prohibit through December 31, 2024, the imposition of a mask mandate on passengers of air carriers or public transit and in educational settings within the United States.”
That day, a press release from Vance’s office cautioned that “Any floor objection to Senator Vance’s unanimous consent request would amount to a clear admission that Democrats intend to reimpose mask mandates in the near term.”
Markey is a self-professed Catholic who has an “F” rating from CatholicVote’s Catholic Accountability Project.
He is perhaps best known for being the Senate sponsor of the “Green New Deal,” a massive “green” spending bill whose House version was sponsored by socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.
The 77-year-old Markey has continuously served in political office for 50 years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1973-1976), the U.S. House of Representatives (1976-2013), and the U.S. Senate (2013-present).