Senate bill against Biden's toddler mask mandate clears chamber with 7 Democrats joining GOP

The vote is the latest in a series of blows against the Biden administration's COVID-19 policies.

Updated: May 4, 2022 - 8:19pm

The Senate passed a proposal on Tuesday to end the Biden administration's mask mandate at Head Start Facilities, known as the Thune Toddler Mask Mandate.

The resolution passed 55-41, with seven Democratic senators joining all present Republicans to vote in support of the measure.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) proposed the resolution in February to express disapproval of the Biden administration's requirement that small children wear masks in Head Start facilities. 

"Even though most Americans stopped wearing masks in almost every setting, children are still required to wear masks all day long in Head Start locations," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said after the proposal passed.

"Current HHS guidance demands that kids wear a mask even if they are outside, and even if they are as young as two years old. After two years, the last thing we need is to continue these outdated pandemic policies that are hurting kids’ educations," he added.

Thune said the Biden administration's COVID rule forced children in Head Start facilities to even wear masks on the playground. 

"A bipartisan majority agrees this rule is a gross overreach of the federal government and must stop now," he noted.

Head Start is a federal nationwide program that promotes "the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families," according to the Administration for Children & Families.

"Forcing kids to wear masks even while playing outside illustrates just how unscientific and inconsistent the Biden administration’s COVID policies have been," Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) posted on Twitter in celebration of the resolution's passage.

The vote is the latest blow to the Biden administration's COVID-19 policies. A Florida federal judge ruled last month that the transportation mask requirement was unconstitutional. The Department of Justice later appealed the decision.

Just the News Spotlight