Sen. Vance Proposes ‘Freedom to Breathe Act’

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) is taking a stand against federal mask mandates by introducing a new bill, the “Freedom to Breathe Act.” Designed to end the federal government’s authority to enforce mask-wearing in specific public spaces, the bill could be a significant turning point in the ongoing debate over COVID-19 regulations.

The legislation targets three critical areas: air travel, public transit, and educational institutions. It would effectively bar federal agencies and entities from requiring masks in these spaces if passed. Additionally, schools and higher education institutions that receive federal funds, airlines, and public transit operators would be prohibited from denying service to individuals who opt not to wear a mask.

“We tried mask mandates once in this country. They failed to control the spread of respiratory viruses, violated basic bodily freedom, and set our fellow citizens against one another,” Vance stated, emphasizing the urgency of his bill.

By focusing on these three areas, Vance’s bill strikes at the heart of the daily lives of countless Americans. In the pandemic era, the public has grown weary of regulations that often appear arbitrary and inconsistent. Vance’s bill offers a breath of fresh air — literally — for those feeling suffocated by prolonged mask mandates, which, for many, represent an infringement on personal liberties.

The legislation also has a financial angle. It would restrict the use of federal funds to support or establish a mask mandate applicable to air travel, public transit, or educational institutions. This ensures not just the lifting of mandates but also that taxpayers’ dollars are not funneled into policies many find objectionable.

Timing-wise, the bill’s provisions would remain in place through December 31, 2024. Although it’s unclear why this specific end date was chosen, it could be related to budgetary limitations or perhaps the next presidential election. Either way, this act aims to give Americans a considerable reprieve from mask-wearing mandates, at least in the short to medium term.

Critics argue that Vance’s bill arrives amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, propelled by the new Eris variant. Yet the senator remains resolute. Vance said, “Multiple entities within our government… are now reimposing mask mandates. This is coming back unless we stop it from happening.” With support from Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), and Mike Braun (R-IN), Vance is ready for a fight on the Senate floor.

Although the bill has slim chances of passing both chambers of Congress and being signed by Joe Biden, its introduction signifies a vital pushback against the bureaucratic leviathan. Vance challenges Democrats: “If they say the mask mandates are not coming back, then come to the Senate floor, vote with us, and say ‘no more mask mandates.’ Let’s make it bipartisan.”

In an era where personal freedoms are increasingly compromised in the name of public health, the “Freedom to Breathe Act” serves as a reminder of what’s at stake.