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Senate passes resolution that would undo extension of transit mask rule

The Transportation Security Administration extended the mask mandate on public transportation through April 18.

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a resolution Tuesday that would undo the extended federal regulation requiring masks on planes, trains, subways and other modes of public transportation.

The Senate approved the measure in a 57-40 vote, with eight Democrats joining Republicans to pass the resolution. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only GOP senator to oppose the measure.

It now heads to the House, where it’s unclear whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will allow a vote.

The resolution, which was considered under the Congressional Review Act, needed only a simple majority to pass the Senate. It was not subject to the 60-vote filibuster.

Last week, the Biden administration extended the requirement for masks on planes and other forms of public transportation through April 18.

The administration said at the time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "will work with government agencies to help inform a revised policy framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be required in the public transportation corridor.”

“This is a free country. If someone wants to wear a mask on a five-hour flight from one American city to another, there is no reason they can’t do that,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said at a news conference before the vote.

“But the testimony we’ve had in the Commerce Committee, from the airline industry and from scientists is that airline air is the safest air that Americans can breathe indoors, anywhere," he added.