Republican controlled House votes to end COVID-19 emergency

 February 1, 2023

The COVID-19 emergency was ended on Tuesday by a party-line vote in the House of Representatives, but the Senate will probably not take up the bill.

The Pandemic is Over Act, which ended the emergency, was supported by all 220 voting Republicans, but it was opposed by all 210 voting Democrats, according to The Daily Caller.

President Joe Biden will allow the public health emergency to end in May, according to the White House, but doing so through a congressional act would mean the end of pandemic-era initiatives like Title 42, student loan forgiveness, and Medicaid expansion.

The COVID-19 pandemic is "over," according to President Joe Biden in September 2022, but "we're still doing a lot of work on it."

Since the president made the assertion, the Biden administration has twice extended the public health emergency.

“This action is long overdue. This week we are voting on several bills designed to do what we all in America have known for some time, that the emergency declaration should be gone away,” Republican Florida Rep. Kat Cammack said in a floor speech.

“Why would the president declare that the pandemic is over but not rescind the emergency declaration? In fact, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem more concerned with keeping the public health emergency in place rather than addressing the problems we are now being faced with.”

The Biden administration has attempted to repeal Title 42, the Trump administration order that enables federal officials to deport illegal immigrants more quickly, despite maintaining the public health emergency.

The Biden administration is required to continue the policy in the interim, and the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the full case in February, as The Daily Caller reported.

In the midst of record-breaking spikes in illegal immigration at the southern border, the high court ordered the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 in a 5-4 decision. In fiscal year 2022, more than 2.3 million migrants were encountered by federal authorities.

According to Axios, the Biden administration thought that changing the policy would result in the arrival of about 14,000 illegal immigrants every day.

Previously, a federal judge mandated that the policy expire on December 21. A day before the policy was set to expire, Republican states petitioned the Supreme Court for intervention, claiming that the recent ruling would cause an unfavorable spike in illegal immigration.

In February, the Supreme Court justices will hear arguments to decide whether to completely end the policy after the pause. The Biden administration must keep expelling a number of illegal immigrants based on their nation of origin up until that time.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Venezuelans who entered the country illegally were the most recent group of immigrants to be expelled under the policy, which has led to the expulsion of over 2 million illegal immigrants (CBP).

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