House GOP passes bill to end COVID-19 public health emergency
House Republicans on Tuesday approved the Pandemic is Over Act to formally end the government's COVID-19 public health emergency which has been in place since early 2020.
The measure to end the declaration passed the lower chamber in a 220-210 party line vote, according to The Hill. It is likely dead on arrival in the Democrat majority Senate.
New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik celebrated the success of the bill in the lower chamber, asserting that various COVID-19 lockdown measures for which the emergency declaration gave a pretense constituted an "authoritarian power grab."
"House Republicans are committed to a future that is built on freedom, and today we are righting the wrong that two years of authoritarian lockdowns and mandates have forced on the American people," she added.
The bill's title is an apparent reference to remarks former President Joe Biden previously made expressing a belief that the worst of the virus had already passed.
Kentucky GOP Rep. Brett Guthrie introduced the measure earlier this month, saying "[t]he COVID-19 pandemic is over. Despite President Biden admitting this in September, his administration just authorized the 12th extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency. It is long overdue for President Biden to end the COVID-19 public health emergency and relinquish the emergency powers that he just renewed again."
The Office of Management and Budget announced earlier this week that the government would end the Department of Health and Human Service's emergency declaration on May 11.