DALLAS — While U.S. Rep. Colin Allred says it’s time to allow folks to make their own choices when traveling and decide for themselves whether a mask is right for them, the government still needs to be able to protect its people.
That’s why he supports the decision to appeal a federal judge’s decision to strike down the national mask mandate governing airports, planes, trains and other public transit.
“I do think it’s important, though, for the CDC to have the ability to impose requirements going forward for other pandemics that may come along, or, unfortunately, if this pandemic has another variant that pops up,” the Democrat said on Inside Texas Politics.
Many airlines and airports, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, DFW International Airport and Love Field have all said masks are now optional after the judge’s ruling.
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Congressman Allred is also closely watching the fate of another public health order: the Title 42 policy along the border, scheduled to come to an end May 23. The order limits asylum at the border in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But many lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, have called on the Biden Administration to delay that date to make sure the country can handle the expected increase of migrants seeking asylum. Congressman Allred agrees that a plan is needed.
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“I think if this policy is going to end, there has to be a plan on how to replace it,” he said.
The Democrat from Dallas also joined forces with a fellow North Texas congressman in an effort to help the nation’s veterans. Allred and Republican, U.S. Rep. Jake Ellzey, introduced a bipartisan bill that would expand healthcare facilities for veterans across the country. The projects would include more funding for the spinal cord injury center at the Dallas VA Medical Center and funding to build a new veterans healthcare center in El Paso.
The shared vision was born on a flight aboard Air Force One as Allred and Ellzey attended a veterans event with the President in Fort Worth. Texas has the second-largest veteran population in the nation. Allred said the state will soon become number one and there is a critical need for funding across the board.
“We know that we have a lot of facilities that are 50, 60, 70 years old in the VA system that need to be updated,” said Allred. “And this is a good time to invest in them.”