Mitt Romney only Republican senator to oppose repealing TSA mask mandate

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only Republican to vote against repealing President Biden’s yearlong transportation mask mandate.

Romney voted against the bill that passed the Senate Tuesday (57-40) with bipartisan support, which saw eight Democrats buck their party to vote with the GOP.

The Utah Republican was the only member of his party to vote against the bill.

BIDEN’S CLIMATE AGENDA ‘CREATED THE PERFECT STORM FOR PUTIN,’ REPUBLICANS SAY

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Romney’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s questions as to why he voted against the measure and if he believes Americans should be forced to continue wearing face coverings in transportation hubs.

An aide for the senator told reporters on Tuesday the senator voted against the bill repealing the mandate because he believes the decision to rescind the mask mandate belongs in the hands of unelected health bureaucrats.

The Senate’s vote came after the Biden administration announced last week they would be extending the mask mandate.

Biden was quick to lay his hand on his holstered veto gun, threatening to shoot the bill out of the sky.

President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Washington. Biden is returning to Washington after spending the weekend at Camp David.

President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Washington. Biden is returning to Washington after spending the weekend at Camp David.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

However, the broad bipartisan support illustrates growing opposition to continuing the mask mandate that the vast majority of Republicans — sans Romney — have opposed for 13 months.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat, expressed his opposition to the bill, saying it would not stop at taking down the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order but also prevent future decrees.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2021.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2021.
(Susan Walsh/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Kaine also pointed to the rising cases in China and some parts of Europe while hypothesizing about another surge in the U.S. 

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«Wouldn’t we want the CDC to have the power immediately upon an upsurge of COVID nationally to impose a mask requirement on transportation?» Kaine asked.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky led the repeal effort, saying the successful passage of the bill «sent a message to unelected government bureaucrats to stop the anti-science, nanny state requirement of travel mask mandates.»

The vote did not clear the two-thirds veto-proof majority number, meaning the president’s veto will likely stick. The White House said, «circumstances under which masks should be required in these settings should be guided by science, not politics.»


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