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Sam Graves & Garret Graves Lead House Republicans’ Demand for Immediate End to Transportation Mask Mandate

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2022 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA) led House Republicans today in demanding the Biden Administration rescind its arbitrary extension of the federal transportation mask mandate.

In total, 129 House Republicans signed the letter, including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

The Members sent their letter to the President after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it was extending the expiring mandate for aviation and public transportation passengers and workers through April 18, 2022.

Highlights from the letter:

  • All across America, masks are coming off as both Republican and Democratic led state governments are dropping mask mandates in the face of delayed, confused, and contradictory CDC guidance.
  • The transportation mask mandate extension absurdly came on the same day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than 98% of the U.S. population lives in areas where wearing masks indoors is no longer advised as a necessary preventative measure.
  • The airline industry, fighting to recover from the pandemic and high fuel prices, has taken extraordinary measures to keep passengers safe, including the use of effective onboard High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems and strong disinfection practices and policies.
  • The Administration failed to do the necessary work to harmonize its policies between the CDC’s February 25th announcement of its new Community Level framework and the TSA’s March 10th extension of the transportation mask mandate – applying one standard to most Americans and another to transportation users and workers.  

    Sam Graves and Garret Graves, the co-leaders of today’s letter, said in a joint statement: “This mandate extension applies an arbitrary, hypocritical double standard to transportation, and it needs to end immediately.  We can now go maskless to restaurants, ball games, big concerts, and even to the President’s State of the Union address or a giant political party gathering in Philadelphia, but not on a plane?  On top of that, an aircraft’s environment is one of the safest, most highly filtered anywhere.  This extension lacks all commonsense and again calls into question the CDC’s credibility on the continued use of restrictive mandates.”

    The full letter can be found here.

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    Tags: Aviation