Republican Lawmakers To Present New Slate Of Bills To Congress Addressing COVID, Remote Work

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Republican lawmakers are set to present a slate of new legislation as the 118th Congress gets underway in the final days of January.

Several of the GOP-drafted bills will focus on repealing remaining policies intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while others will address cultural topics such as socialism and remote work, according to a Monday report from Punchbowl News.

Kentucky Rep. Brett Guthrie drafted H.R. 382, also titled the Pandemic is Over Act, that would terminate the public health emergency enacted Jan. 31, 2o2o. South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan will present H.R. 497, also known as the Freedom For Healthcare Workers Act, to eliminate the federal COVID vaccine mandate for those who work in healthcare.

Florida Rep. Maria Salazar will present H. Con. Res. 9 “denouncing the horrors of socialism.” The legislation outlines “several historical examples of the greatest crimes and tragedies of socialism, and why such a system goes against the founding principles of our great nation,” according to a statement on the representative’s official website.

“Socialism is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths across the globe. The United States must unequivocally denounce this cynical and cruel ideology that has harmed millions of Americans who have fled from socialist regimes,” the statement continues.

Kentucky Rep. James Comer drafted H.R. 139 which would mandate all federal employees to return to the office for work. The bill, also titled the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act, seeks to avert the Biden administration from permanently implementing COVID-era remote work policies for federal employees.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in January asked the White House to end telework for federal workers in Washington, D.C. She argued the federal government owns or rents up 25% of all downtown D.C. office space, and said the absence of those workers adversely affected the city’s downtown. Bowser also called for the city to convert unused office space into housing as an alternative means of revitalizing the downtown area.