House passes measure to end COVID-19 vaccine requirements for foreign travelers

The bill faces an uncertain future in the Democratic-majority Senate.

Published: February 8, 2023 6:00pm

Updated: February 8, 2023 6:29pm

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to end the requirement that most foreign travelers arriving in the United States be vaccinated for COVID-19.

The legislation passed in a 227-201 vote with seven Democrats joining Republicans to end the mandate, The Hill reported. Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie introduced the measure, which would also bar the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from imposing a similar restriction in the future.

Fellow Kentucky GOP Rep. Brett Guthrie said retaining the requirement would keep the U.S. "out of touch with the rest of the world" and that ending the mandate would "align the United States with the rest of North America's COVID-19 vaccine policy," per the outlet.

Guthrie, for his part, introduced the "Pandemic is Over Act" earlier this year to formally end the public health emergency declaration that the federal government has renewed continuously since its beginning in 2020. The House passed that measure earlier this year.

House Democrats had opposed Massie's bill in part due to the provision restricting future CDC action. Democratic New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., for instance, said the plan "ties the hands of our public health experts to the political whims of the most ideologically extreme in a way that makes our nation less safe and more vulnerable in the future," according to The Hill. 

Both measures face an uncertain future in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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