03.15.22

Daines’ Effort to Strike Down Biden’s Travel Mask Mandate Passes U.S. Senate

U.S. SENATE – Today Senator Steve Daines’ effort to strike down President Biden’s overreaching travel mask mandate passed the U.S. Senate. 

“Biden’s travel mask mandate has been in place for far too long,” Daines said. “I’m glad to see my effort to get rid of Biden’s overreaching travel mask mandate pass the U.S. Senate so that Montanans can start getting their lives back to normal.” 

“On top of staff safety, we are only just now moving forward with a full workforce, having experienced a staffing shortage for much of 2021. Asking our bus operators to take on the role of mask enforcement in a hostile environment will hurt our retention rates and negatively impact our service and thereby our community…Please help us move forward in a safe and effective manner by working to end the federal mask mandate as soon as possible,” Corey Aldridge, CEO and general manager of the Missoula Urban Transportation District said.

In March, Daines joined Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) and colleagues in cosponsoring a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to strike down the travel mask mandate.  A CRA is a process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule that must be brought up for a vote by the full Senate and cannot be blocked by Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer. To pass, a CRA only needs a simple majority among senators voting.

Daines’ effort to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandate for Montana healthcare workers, which passed the Senate last week, and his effort to block Biden’s vaccine mandate on private businesses, which passed the Senate last year, was under the same CRA process.

 

Background:

Daines has been leading efforts in Congress against Biden’s vaccine mandates and while he is pro-vaccine, he is anti-mandate.

On March 3, 2022, Daines’ effort to strike down President Biden’s overreaching federal vaccine mandate for Montana healthcare workers passed the U.S. Senate. 

On February 24, 2022, Daines introduced legislation to ban vaccine mandates for essential workers crossing the border.

On February 14, 2022, Daines introduced a Resolution of Disapproval in the United States Senate to formally disapprove the vaccine and mask mandates for Montana Head Start staff, volunteers and students imposed by the Biden administration.

On January 26, 2022, Daines, Governor Greg Gianforte and Congressman Matt Rosendale today pushed the Biden administration to issue exemptions to the healthcare worker vaccine mandate for health facilities where Montanans’ access to care, especially in rural communities, is jeopardized.

On December 14, 2021, Daines introduced his effort to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandate for Montana healthcare workers 

On December 10, 2021, Daines led a group of his colleagues to push back against President Biden’s vaccine mandates that will impact truckers and other essential travelers trying to cross the U.S.-Canada border.  

On December 9, 2021, Daines is urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Montana Head Start employees and volunteers that could force them out of their jobs and threaten access to childcare for families in need.  

On December 8, 2021, Daines legislative effort to rescind President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate against private businesses passed the U.S. Senate.

On November 15, 2021, Daines called on Biden to reverse the vaccine mandate for health care workers, which could cripple and even shut down some of Montana’s hospitals as nurses and other health care workers will be forced to leave their jobs. The most painful consequence will be the harm to Montana patients not able to receive care.  

On November 5, 2021, Daines supported Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s lawsuit challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate on Montana small businesses.

On November 3, 2021, Daines moved to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandates under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). A CRA is a process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule and must be brought up for a vote by the full Senate regardless of an agreement by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats. To pass, a CRA only needs 51 votes.  

On October 27, 2021, Daines called on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reassess the vaccine mandate for Montana firefighters that could inhibit effective forest management and wildfire response in the state. 

On October 12, 2021, Neptune Aviation wrote to Daines expressing the burden Biden’s mandate would put on its workforce and firefighting capabilities. Read the letter HERE

On October 18, 2021, Daines cosponsored bills to protect Montana workers, small businesses from Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and prevent the federal government from imposing fines, fees or taxes on Montana small businesses that do not adhere to Biden’s mandate. 

On October 25, 2021, Daines urged President Biden to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandates which will hurt Montana businesses and threaten the livelihoods of Montana workers.

In October, Daines cosponsored a bill, the “Stop Vaccine Mandates Act,” to rescind President Biden’s executive order mandating federal contractors and workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the bill text HERE.

On September 16 2021, Daines slammed President Biden for his top-down vaccine mandate, and questioned its constitutionality. 

 

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Contact: Rachel Dumke,  Katie Schoettler