The House of Representatives voted Tuesday along party lines to end the COVID-19 emergency, though the legislation is likely dead on arrival in the Senate.
All 220 voting Republicans supported the Pandemic is Over Act, ending the emergency, and all 210 voting Democrats opposed it. The White House has said that President Joe Biden will allow the public health emergency to expire in May, but that ending it via an act of Congress could eliminate pandemic-era programs like Title 42, student loan forgiveness, and a Medicaid expansion.
President Joe Biden said in September 2022 that the COVID-19 pandemic is “over,” but that “we’re still doing a lot of work on it.” The Biden administration has renewed the public health emergency twice since the president made the claim. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Murphy, House Republicans Call On Biden To End COVID Public Health Emergency)
Isn’t it funny how Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic over 4 months ago, and yet, the federal public health emergency is still in place today? Makes you wonder whether this ‘emergency’ declaration was really about public health or ripping off American taxpayers by the BILLIONS. pic.twitter.com/5ywZd8fWsM
— Rep. Cammack Press Office (@RepKatCammack) January 31, 2023
“This action is long overdue. This week we are voting on several bills designed to do what we all in America have known for some time, that the emergency declaration should be gone away,” Republican Florida Rep. Kat Cammack said in a floor speech. “Why would the president declare that the pandemic is over but not rescind the emergency declaration? In fact, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem more concerned with keeping the public health emergency in place rather than addressing the problems we are now being faced with.”
Despite keeping the public health emergency in place, the Biden administration has attempted to end Title 42, the Trump administration order that allows federal officials to more rapidly deport illegal immigrants. The Supreme Court temporarily ordered the Biden administration to maintain the policy, and will hear oral arguments in the full case in February.