On Wednesday, the Senate, one of the two chambers of the United States Congress, took a significant and noteworthy step by adopting a resolution to terminate the national emergency declaration that was put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This momentous decision marks a significant turning point in the country’s response to the pandemic, and it is expected that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will sign this resolution into law.
The resolution in question, H.J. Res.7, was initially proposed by the House in February, and its adoption by the Senate via a 68-23 roll call vote is a testament to the broad-based agreement among the senators that the United States has passed the emergency phase of the pandemic.
In an extraordinary display of bipartisanship, numerous Democrats even crossed party lines to support this resolution, further indicating the widespread recognition of the importance of this move.
This decision to approve the resolution in the Senate is a symbolic act that highlights the country’s collective efforts to combat the pandemic’s impact.
Despite the approval of this resolution, there still remains some disagreement regarding the timing of officially declaring the end of the emergency phase of the pandemic. Nonetheless, the Senate’s resolution is a significant and positive step towards this ultimate goal.
Our resolution forcing Joe Biden to give up his pandemic emergency powers just PASSED for the THIRD time. 67 of my colleagues said this national emergency is over.
It’s time for Biden to do what he should have done months ago and end the COVID national emergency.
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) March 29, 2023
The Senate’s adoption of a resolution to terminate the national emergency declaration related to COVID-19 is an extraordinary milestone in the United States’ prolonged response to the pandemic.
The House proposed the resolution, H.J. Res.7, in February, and its adoption by the Senate through a roll call vote of 68-23 reflects the widespread agreement among senators that the emergency phase of the pandemic has passed.
The resolution’s approval is a clear example of the type of bipartisan support and agreement that is necessary to address the significant challenges faced by the country, especially during this pandemic. The fact that numerous Democrats crossed party lines to support the resolution only adds to its credibility and significance.
The pandemic is over.
It's time to end the COVID-19 National Emergency Declaration and take away 123 special emergency powers from the executive branch.
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) March 29, 2023
The resolution also has broader implications for the separation of powers and democratic accountability in the United States. The emergency powers granted to the executive branch in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are designed to provide the commander-in-chief with the flexibility to act quickly and decisively.
However, many lawmakers, including those who supported the resolution, argue that a more balanced system of governance is required to ensure that such emergency powers do not undermine the fundamental principles of democratic accountability and the separation of powers.
In January, the Biden administration issued a statement expressing its strong opposition to the legislation designed to terminate the national emergency declaration related to COVID-19. The statement further noted that the adoption of this resolution and another bill intended to end the public health emergency would severely harm the American people.
"The pandemic is over."
Congress will vote this week on my resolution to terminate the COVID-19 national emergency declaration repeatedly extended by Biden.
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 30, 2023
The administration highlighted that the sudden termination of these declarations could instill a sense of disorientation and turmoil in the country, undermining the efforts made to wind-down from the emergency phase of the pandemic.
The White House’s concerns regarding the sudden termination of these declarations are not unfounded. Such an abrupt cessation could lead to confusion and chaos, given the numerous policies and procedures that are in place as a response to the emergency.
The immediate removal of these measures could result in unintended consequences, including the spread of the virus and negative economic impacts. As such, a more measured and controlled approach is required to ensure that the transition out of the emergency phase of the pandemic is managed effectively and responsibly.
Pandemic official end date announced ? pic.twitter.com/eEaaypsrSy
— striking workers appreciator (@_georgina666) March 28, 2023
Furthermore, the Biden administration’s statement highlights the importance of ensuring that the public’s health and safety remain a top priority as the country moves beyond the pandemic. The administration recognizes that while progress has been made in controlling the virus’s spread, significant work remains to be done to ensure that the country can safely and effectively transition to a post-pandemic world.
As such, the administration continues to urge caution and diligence in all measures taken to end the pandemic, emphasizing the need for a science-based and data-driven approach to decision-making.
Today, Democrats defeated my amendment to require Senate ratification for any pandemic agreement with the World Health Organization.
Now we know Democrats are willing to relinquish U.S. sovereignty to a global entity. How sad. pic.twitter.com/NYdPRVoprN
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 28, 2023