Feinstein Calls for Withholding COVID-19 Relief From States Without Mask Mandates
Senator pushes for states to adopt mask mandate
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called for states refusing to enforce mandatory masks on residents to face losing their federal coronavirus relief funds.
The Democratic senator pushed for states to adopt mask mandate by introducing a legislative amendment in the Senate.
“Research shows that masks reduce transmission of the coronavirus,” said the California senator.
“CDC Director Redfield said this surge in COVID-19 cases could end within two months if we adopt ‘universal masking.’"
"Businesses like Walmart, Kohl’s, and Kroger now require masks. And countries that are successfully controlling this virus require masks," she added.
"So why doesn’t the United States have a national mask mandate?’"
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate would work toward another round of coronavirus relief, adding it would contain a “heavy emphasis” on education.
But the mask-mandate amendment may be attached to the pandemic relief legislation if Feinstein gets her way.
“The situation is getting worse daily. Several states, including California, Alabama, and Montana, already require masks in public. This should be universal,” said Feinstein.
“My hope has been that other governors would show the leadership to institute their own mask mandates, but so far that hasn’t happened," she added.
"It’s time for Congress to step in. This is a matter of life or death, and partisan politics shouldn’t play a role.”
Wearing masks in public should be mandatory. When the Senate takes up the next coronavirus economic relief bill later this month, I intend to offer an amendment to prohibit sending funds to states that haven’t adopted a statewide mask requirement. https://t.co/DvwiVr02Vo pic.twitter.com/2uqFyNAUL4— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 16, 2020
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a “long overdue” mandatory face mask requirement to be implemented across the county.
Mandatory masking is now being pushed by the majority of Democrats.
But Republicans have argued that the policy is "unenforceable" and an overreach regarding the spread of the coronavirus.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also vowed to make face mask mandatory for all Americans if is he's elected president.
“The one thing we do know is these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask," Biden said.
"Anyone to reopen would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks,” Biden added.
An increasing number of Democratic state governors have also pushed for the adoption of face coverings — some on a mandatory basis.
Earlier this month, Michigan's Democrat governor faced a backlash from law enforcement following her executive order to make face masks mandatory in the state.
Whitmer earlier issued a mandate stating that businesses “must” deny service to patrons not wearing a mask.
But a number of sheriffs refused to enforce the governor's orders.