U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) discussed the recent travel mask mandate ruling, inflation, and why he’s been voting exclusively remotely this session during an interview with HCV.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a federal judge from Florida, shot down President Joe Biden’s (D) travel mask mandate a week ago, ruling that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control had exceeded their authority.
When asked about the development, the retiring eight-term congressman said he always wears a mask when traveling and he recommends everyone else do the same if they prefer to err on the side of caution.
“I mean there’s a lot of confusion over whether to wear the masks or not. If you’re not insured, wear the mask. I wear the mask when I travel, I don’t know who’s sitting next to me. You know, it’s just a precaution,” he said, adding that he had no kind words for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
As Washington D.C. prepares for volatile midterm elections this fall, Congress first must tackle inflation, which new data shows some prices soaring as high as they have in the past four decades, per The Washington Post.
Sires, 71, said that a methodical approach needs to be taken since a short-term solution and/or quick fix doesn’t exist.
“You don’t cure inflation in three weeks. You don’t cure inflation [in] three months. This has been creeping up because of COVID, because of the merchandise [shipping] being so far behind, so this is going to take a little time,” he stated.
“But one good thing is we have only a 3 percent unemployment rate, that is going to help.”
The unemployment rate in the United States was at 3.6 percent at the beginning of the month, according to The Guardian.
In a subscriber exclusive released yesterday, NJ Advance Media reported on the voting records of the New Jersey federal delegation, noting that Sires had voted in every single session since January remotely.
When asked if there was any particular reason for that, Sires noted that he had hip replacement surgery last year and was going to have a knee replacement surgery next month – a procedure his wife just had – and he wouldn’t not be heading back to DC until they were both feeling 100 percent again.
“I had some health issues: I had a hip replacement, I’m getting a knee replacement, my wife had a knee replacement, so I didn’t want to take any chances because a lot of members of Congress … including [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi tested positive,” he explained.
“So I’m not gonna go there until I’m fully recovered.”
Sires’ remarks came at the North Hudson campus of the Hudson County Community College after they dedicated the entrance atrium to him.