Megan Udinski, FISM News
In a party line vote Thursday, Senate republicans passed a joint resolution to end the declaration of emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus emerging under the National Emergencies Act. The bill introduced by the senate GOP symbolically ends the declaration in a narrow 48-47 vote.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) spearheaded the resolution cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Rand Paul (Ky.). Five members of the Senate were not in attendance for the vote, including James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Mark Kelly (Ariz.).
The next step for the resolution is to head to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, where it will most likely die before getting to the president’s desk.
Even if it does go through the House and comes before President Biden, the Office of Management and Budget commented on behalf of the current administration that it “strongly opposes Senate Joint Resolution 38, which would terminate the national emergency declared on March 13, 2020, and unnecessarily and abruptly curtail the ability of the Administration to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Just a month ago the president extended the declaration of emergency that was supposed to end March 1.
Senate Majority Leader, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), proclaimed the proposal “to hinder our COVID preparedness is as damaging and risky as it is unnecessary, and it should be voted down. It is going nowhere if it passes.”
Co-sponsor Sen. Rand Paul has been a proponent of minimizing the head of state’s ability to evoke emergencies without more restrictions in place limiting their control. He refers to the actions taken by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in regard to the trucker convoys that have been taking place in Ottawa. He said, “We have the same sort of statutes here, and I have long-time been an opponent of these. We actually have in the United States an Emergency Act that allows the president to shut down the internet.”
Many states have begun to lift mask and vaccine mandates as cases of COVID-19, along with associated deaths, seem to be decreasing. According to a recent poll by AP- NORC, Americans’ concerns over the spread of infectious disease, in particular COVID-19, are returning to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the work put forth by the GOP members.
The Senate has spoken. We are ready to end the COVID national emergency like more than a majority of Americans. Hope our House colleagues join us in returning the ability to make decisions related to the virus back to the American people. https://t.co/pQSAD4KuTG
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) March 3, 2022
Other countries around the world have already started to make changes similar to this resolution, and Americans are ready to follow suit.