House Passes Resolution For Ending COVID-19 National Emergency

Credit: Louis Velazquez/ unsplash
  • The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday passed a resolution that would immediately end the COVID-19 national emergency.
  • The joint resolution cleared the House in a 229-197 vote.
  • Eleven Democrats voted with Republicans in supporting the measure.

The measure, which spans just over one page, would terminate the COVID-19 national emergency once enacted. It is not, however, expected to move in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. The Biden administration also came out against the measure.

Ending Health Emergency

It was initially set to end on March 1, but the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said that date would be pushed by roughly two months. The administration also said the COVID-19 public health emergency, initially set to end on April 11, would expire on May 11. The OMB in a statement argued that abruptly ending the emergency declaration and public health emergency “would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system — for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices, and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans.”

“At this point, there’s no longer a need for the declaration to utilize extraordinary authorities provided under the [National Emergencies Act] and it seems that the White House agrees with this too, but thinks we need to wait until May 11. That logic and math just doesn’t seem right to me,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said during debate on the House floor.

Differing Opinion

Democrats, however, cited Biden’s plan to end the national emergency on May 11 in voicing opposition to the measure. “With these complex issues still facing business, local leaders and the American people, it would be harmful and irresponsible to force a premature end to the flexibility offered by the presidential emergency declaration from March 2020,” Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) said on the House floor after noting statistics of COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

“President Biden has no intention of using these emergency powers forever. We know that because he announced his intention to end the COVID-19 national emergency on May 11. This May deadline provides time to develop a strategic and a thoughtful plan regarding the termination of these authorities. There’s no need for Congress to act now before the president acts on this issue…” 

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Source: DCnews


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