House passes bill to end COVID-19 emergency

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution to end the COVID-19 national emergency declared by former President Trump in March 2020. The measure was passed in a party-line 229-197 vote, however it is not expected to move in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. The Biden Administration has also come out against the measure and announced on Monday that the COVID-19 national emergency would be terminated on May 11.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) argued that ending the emergency declaration abruptly would create widespread chaos and uncertainty in the health care system. Republicans argue the emergency declaration must come to an end sooner rather than later, while the House had also voted to end the COVID-19 public health emergency in a party-line vote of 220-210.

The national emergency allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to mobilize personnel to support state and local agencies, as well as access billions of dollars. Trump had issued a notice to extend the national emergency in January 2021, and President Biden did the same in February 2022. Unless the president ends it, Congress passes a joint resolution to do so, or if the president does not issue an annual extension, the declaration remains in effect.


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