Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance introduced his “Freedom to Breathe” act on Tues., Sept. 5, which would force Democrats to admit where they stand on wearing masks again, but when he tried to bring the issue to the floor on Thursday, he was blocked by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey.

Vance put the issue up for a unanimous consent vote on Thursday. But to scuttle Vance’s bill, Markey attacked it calling the bill a “red herring” and insisted it wasn’t about “freedom.”

Indeed, Markey made the argument that it would take power away from local governments to respond to future situations.

“This bill would undermine the ability of states, cities, the towns across this country to make decisions about what’s best for their communities,” Markey exclaimed on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

This is quite a novel approach for a Democrat. After all, Democrats typically stand against laws that allow for local control and usually push policies that force top-down solutions on everyone. But, it appears that “local control” can be invoked when it is convenient to bat down a bill proposing more freedoms.

Naturally, this is the same Sen. Markey who in 2020 introduced a mask bill of his own, but it was one that would require states to implement forced masking on every American nationwide. Talk about taking away local control!


On Tuesday, Sen. Vance shot down all the claims that his bill is just Republican red meat with no substance.

Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday, he spoke about the need to end “COVID tyranny.”

“Just a week ago, Donald Trump issued a video, a very sensible video, saying ‘no more mandates, we’re not going back to the COVID tyranny of a couple of years ago,’” Vance said. “Democrats howled in protest and said ‘nobody’s trying to bring back mask mandates.”

“And yet, this week we see multiple instances confirming Trump’s thesis that you have multiple entities within our government, within the public health bureaucracy, there are local public schools in the D.C. area now re-imposing mask mandates. This is coming back unless we stop it from happening,” he continued.

“That’s why I introduced this legislation and I’m going to force the Democrats to vote on it. 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,” the senator added.

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