Senate Republicans pass resolution to formally end the declared ‘national emergency’ for COVID pandemic

For many Americans, depending upon where they live, the COVID-19 pandemic “national emergency” has been over for quite some time.

The “national emergency” has now been ended at the federal level, at least in the U.S. Senate, as that legislative body just passed a symbolic resolution declaring as much in a party-line vote Thursday, Fox News reported.

The resolution, which would formally end the national emergency first declared by former President Donald Trump nearly two years ago, March 13, 2020, was passed by the Senate with a vote of 48-47.

Time to end the two-year “national emergency”

Senate Joint Resolution 38 was first introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), according to Politico, and he delivered a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the vote Thursday to try and rally support for his measure.

“The robust powers this emergency declaration provides the federal government are no longer necessary and Congress must debate, and ultimately repeal them, in order to begin the process of unwinding the powers the government took hold of during the peak of the crisis,” the Republican lawmaker from Kansas said.

Politico noted that Marshall had used a technical procedure to bring the resolution up for a simple majority vote and, because a few Democrats were absent due to illness or family emergencies, the Republicans were able to out-vote their Democratic colleagues.

In a tweet following the passing vote, Marshall wrote, “The Senate has spoken. We are ready to end the COVID national emergency like more than a majority of Americans. Hope our House colleagues join us in returning the ability to make decisions related to the virus back to the American people.”

Joining him in heralding the achievement was Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who tweeted, “Today I voted to end the federal COVID state of emergency. It’s long past time for @POTUS to give up the extra powers he’s been given under this public health emergency declaration, so we can move forward rather than extending this emergency status indefinitely.”

Predictable Democratic opposition

The joint resolution has now been forwarded to the Democratic-controlled House, where Politico reported that it was unlikely that the measure would even be brought up for consideration, much less a passing vote.

Furthermore, the White House said in a policy statement that it “strongly opposes” the resolution that was described as a “reckless and costly mistake — one that President Joe Biden has already said he will veto if it somehow did end up getting an approving vote from the House.

The opposition from House Democrats and President Biden were known factors from the get-go, however, and while the effort to end the national emergency by Senate Republicans may seem like a futile gesture, it is still important in that it has forced members to go on the record let the American people know exactly where they stand on this particular issue.

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