Democratic Texas state legislators skipping town to block a Republican voting bill smiled for a photo on a plane taking them to Washington, D.C., with none of them wearing face coverings that are still legally required on commercial flights.
At least 51 Democratic lawmakers boarded chartered planes to Washington, D.C., to lobby in support of the For the People Act, the Democratic sweeping election overhaul legislation, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, according to NBC News. They hope their absence in Austin, Texas, will leave the state House of Representatives without a quorum, blocking a Republican voting reform bill.
Local Dallas NBS reporter Scott Gordon posted a photo he obtained from one of the Democratic lawmakers on the plane.
The Texas lawmakers may be in violation of federal masking guidelines. According to Private Jet Card Comparisons, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued after President Joe Biden’s executive order requires face masks on private charter flights even when they are not operating for their owners. The Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s inquiry.
Republicans often express frustration masks are still required on flights and in public transportation for vaccinated people despite updated mask guidance in other settings.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said last week he would introduce a bill to repeal the mask mandate on planes. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently announced similar legislation ending public transit mask-wearing.
The photo of the Democrats prompted immediate reaction from conservatives and Republicans pointing out the hypocrisy of Democrats keeping mask mandates in place but not wearing them on a plane while other travelers must.
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Original Author: Emily Brooks