Dems Won’t Let GOP End COVID State of Emergency
This isn’t about ending the pandemic; it’s about who gets the credit for saying it’s over.
Given the welcome reality of life after COVID, the end of which was evidenced by the “State of the Union miracle” of a maskless (half) audience, Senate Republicans have put an official stamp on closing out the two-year-long pandemic. It’s endemic now. Let’s learn to live with it.
Kansas Republican Senator Roger Marshall, a medical doctor, was joined by Indiana’s Mike Braun, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Texas’s Ted Cruz, Utah’s Mike Lee, and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson in putting forward Senate Joint Resolution 38 declaring an end to the COVID emergency. “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,” the resolution reads, “That, pursuant to section 202 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622), the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on March 13, 2020, in Proclamation 9994 (85 Fed. Reg. 15337) is hereby terminated.”
Marshall said it’s important to “deliver a symbolic victory to our citizens that normalcy is around the corner and that limited government and our constitutional rights still reign supreme.”
In his SOTU Address, Biden seemed to agree. “Thanks to the progress we have made this past year,” he boasted, “COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.”
Because three Democrats and two Republicans were absent (one each for positive COVID tests), the resolution actually passed 48-47 along party lines. The same happened earlier this week with a resolution to repeal Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, a mandate that survived a Supreme Court challenge.
Neither resolution will go anywhere in Nancy Pelosi’s House, though, where Democrats aren’t about to let Republicans get such a win. The White House also promised that Joe Biden would veto both resolutions — the latter because it would “abruptly curtail the ability of the Administration to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.” (Not the administration, per se, but think bulk-mail ballots.)
And we wouldn’t want that for the guy issuing those unconstitutional vaccine mandates, now would we? The White House still wants Congress to approve $22.5 billion more for COVID expenses, after all, and his staff worked really hard to write down a new preparedness plan.
“The emergency, first declared in March 2020 by then-President Donald Trump, allows the administration to use the National Emergencies Act to activate special executive powers,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The administration has used it to suspend the payment deadlines for student loans, close ports of entry and extend customs deadlines, among other efforts.”
The brilliance of the Republicans’ move, which no doubt has Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s fingerprints on it somewhere, is that it undermines the Democrats’ phony political pivot on COVID. Democrats and Democrats alone want credit for ending the pandemic during this election year, and only they will decide when they’re done running roughshod over our lives.
Nearly every Democrat who showed up Tuesday night came without a mask. The CDC’s politically timed new masking guidelines mean that more than 90% of Americans can now ditch them, including at most federal government agencies. Nearly all Democrat governors have lifted mandates and other restrictions (Republicans did so long ago). Of course, Democrats at every level have a solid track record of ignoring their own diktats when it suits them.
But darn those Republicans for stealing the Democrats’ thunder!
“Just as it looks like we’re turning the corner, why on earth would Republicans risk bungling it all by crippling America’s ability to remain prepared for the future?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded to know with his best imitation of indignation.
So much for unity.
“We can’t change how divided we’ve been,” Biden said Tuesday, “but we can change how we move forward.” Color us shocked, but he didn’t believe a word he read off that teleprompter. Democrats are still hell-bent on dividing the country over a virus. And every other thing, come to think of it.
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