The pandemic has exacerbated the trend of growing federal power, and Republican state legislators are concerned about it. New mask guidance has spurred a backlash from local leaders who are now anxious about the possibility of further restrictions, including a vaccine mandate and new lockdowns.
A number of states are fighting against federal restrictions included in the COVID-19 relief plan on tax cuts.
The federal government is exercising its rights far beyond what the constitution allows, according to Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, a Republican.
“That’s probably the biggest threat we face,” Adams told The Epoch Times on July 30.
State legislators are “very capable to manage their affairs. And we really don’t need that federal overreach,” he said.
Adams, who’s also the chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), hosted the organization’s annual meeting from July 28 to July 30. Thousands of state and local leaders gathered for the ALEC conference in a Salt Lake City, Utah, hotel to discuss major policy issues.
Republican legislators reacted to the federal government’s mask mandates after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) abruptly changed its guidance on July 27, recommending that U.S. residents wear masks throughout most of the country, regardless of their vaccination status.
“In many ways, not only is it wrong according to the Constitution, but it doesn’t make sense,” Adams said, referring to federal overreach during the pandemic.
Washington should allow the states to be able to function and make their own decisions so that they can compare and choose the right policies, he said.
“One size doesn’t fit all nor does one size give us the ability to have that innovative comparison of different procedures,” Adams said.
In May, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks or practice physical distancing in all indoor and outdoor settings. However, in their latest announcement, health officials said universal masking is essential to stop the spread of the Delta variant.