Seven Democrats joined GOP senators in voting for a resolution to overturn President Joe Biden’s mask mandate for toddlers.
The bill that would end current face mask requirements for children 2 years old and older in Head Start facilities cleared the Senate on Tuesday in a 55-41 vote.
The Democratic senators who voted with Republicans to pass the resolution include Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Mark Kelly (AZ), Jon Ossoff (GA), Joe Manchin (WV), Jacky Rosen (NV), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), and Jon Tester (MT).
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) sponsored the resolution and, prior to the vote, told his colleagues, “It’s past time to call a halt to the Biden administration’s outdated and unscientific mandate to ensure that our toddlers can run around the playground mask-free.”
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Following the bill’s Senate approval, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) noted the mandate's hypocrisy.
“Even though most Americans stopped wearing masks in almost every setting, children are still required to wear masks all day long in Head Start locations,” Grassley said in a statement. “Current HHS guidance demands that kids wear a mask even if they are outside, and even if they are as young as two years old. After two years, the last thing we need is to continue these outdated pandemic policies that are hurting kids’ educations.”
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As of November 2021, face masks were required for all Head Start program participants over the age of 2.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.