Barrasso and Lummis join bill to protect toddlers from government overreach

Wyoming Senators start a hybrid session at the Wyoming State Capitol.
Wyoming Senators start a hybrid session at the Wyoming State Capitol.(Grace Foulk / KGWN)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 4:56 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both R-Wyo., joined Senator Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Representative Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) in introducing the Preventing Mandates on Toddlers Act.

This legislation would nullify an interim final rule (IFR) published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that requires universal masking for all individuals in Head Start facilities above the age of two. The IFR also requires masks for toddlers while they are outside and mandates staff and volunteers to be vaccinated by January 31, 2022.

“The Biden administration’s federal overreach knows no bounds. They’re now coming after Wyoming’s toddlers. Individual Head Start programs and families know what is best for their children, not the federal government,” said Barrasso. “This bill will protect children in Wyoming and across the country from Washington’s impractical and unreasonable mandates.”

“Our Head Start programs should be focused on education, but the Biden administration is trying to turn our educators into mask police for some of our youngest kids. I am proud to join my colleague John Barrasso in opposing this ridiculous mandate on Wyoming’s educators, and on our toddlers,” said Lummis. “When Head Start educators are forced to turn their focus from education to other issues, our children suffer. Our educators know this. Our parents know this. I just wish the Biden administration did as well.”

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 this point, individual locations have been able to set and enforce their own COVID-19 protocols.

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