Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joined U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Senate colleagues in introducing a Senate Resolution that, if enacted, would allow Congress to nullify a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) interim final rule (IFR) that requires all staff and volunteers in Head Start educational facilities around the country to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. Most notably, this resolution would nullify the IFR’s mandate for all children two years of age and older to wear a mask, including when they are playing outside. Congress can consider this resolution using expedited procedures under the Congressional Review Act and can pass it by a simple majority vote.
“A mask mandate on Idaho toddlers and children participating in Head Start programs is the latest example of an unreasonable one-size-fits-all, heavy-handed bureaucratic intrusion by the federal government,” said Crapo. “Parents deserve a say in the health of their children. I will continue to fight to ensure the federal government stays within its authorities entrusted to it by the Constitution.”
This legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rick Scott (R-Florida) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).
In December, Crapo co-sponsored separate legislation to nullify this IFR, and in January, he joined his colleagues in sending a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting that the Administration rescind the IFR. The Head Start program is a federal government program that provides qualifying, low-income children with early education services. Program facilities are located throughout the nation and, up until the issuance of this IFR, individual locations had been able to set and enforce their own COVID-19 protocols.