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House Approves Bill to End COVID-19 Public Health Emergency After Biden Set Expiration for May

Republicans in the House voted to stop the public health emergency immediately, notwithstanding President Joseph Biden’s assertion that the COVID-19 emergency declarations will cease in May.

Despite the promise made by President Joe Biden the day before that the emergency declarations will be lifted in a matter of months, House Republicans on Tuesday adopted a resolution to remove the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Republicans voted as a group to end the emergency declaration and another measure that would end the vaccination requirement for healthcare workers in certain facilities after a protracted debate in which lawmakers occasionally disagreed over fundamental facts about the virus and vaccinations, as the GOP started to lean into its pandemic-related policy platform this week, despite dim prospects for the legislation in the Senate.

Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas said on the House floor on Tuesday that “today, the Republican majority begins the lengthy process of undoing the policy errors of President Biden and the previous Democrat majority.” “The COVID surveillance state is being dismantled,”

The Trump administration first declared a public health emergency in 2020. This and other emergency declarations have given the federal government extensive authority to extend health care services while assisting in the fast-tracking of COVID-19 therapies and vaccinations. The Biden administration informed Congress on Monday that the emergency designations will end on May 11.

Republicans and Democrats appeared to agree that the emergency declaration should be lifted, but On the timetable, they couldn’t agree.

Democrats were adamant that the emergency public health law was rushed and that more time would allow for a helpful adjustment period. Biden’s schedule, according to Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, would enable the country to “responsibly” wind down COVID-19 initiatives.

A pandemic of this size cannot be reversed overnight, according to Pallone. “We cannot flick a switch and instantly put a stop to COVID-19.”

Republicans criticised the president for asserting earlier this year that the pandemic was gone while maintaining the emergency declarations, saying that Biden’s timescale was arbitrary.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana stated in a statement that the Biden Administration should join us immediately in repealing this declaration rather than waiting until May 11. The Biden Administration’s ability to utilise COVID as a shield to spend billions of tax funds on its unrelated, extreme agenda is no longer possible, according to House Republicans.

But, Title 42, a public health regulation that permits border officials to swiftly deport migrants owing to the potential of COVID-19, appeared to be a sticking point for the GOP. According to the White House, ending the public health emergency would also put a stop to the divisive immigration programme, which Republicans have backed even as the administration has tried to do away with it.

Republicans countered that Title 42 would still be in effect despite the legislation being enacted on Tuesday. Democrats immediately drew a contrast between their positions on resolving the public health emergency and restricting immigration for reasons of public health.

According to California Democrat Rep. Lou Correa, “although my colleagues are stating that there is no need for a public health emergency, they want to preserve Title 42 at the border because of its public health emergency implications.” “You can’t claim that Title 42 is still required at the border due to a healthcare crisis if you honestly believe the pandemic is over.”

The bill’s sponsor responded by stating that the “Pandemic Is Over Act” We refuse to accept that COVID-19 has ended in this nation.

Rep. Brett Guthrie of Kentucky’s GOP remarked, “We definitely don’t want anything coming through our southern border.” “Thus, we favour maintaining Title 42.”

The bill will now travel to the Senate, a chamber controlled by Democrats, where it is unlikely to pass.


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