President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency on March 13, 2020.
Since then, the pandemic has perpetually trudged along while dramatically altering the rhythm of American life. An upwards of 500,000 Americans have died from complications of the disease. Virtual learning, navigating through Zoom, and virtually attending work in last night’s pajamas have officially made the transition to a normalized American standard.
While Americans continue to reel from the economic and societal impacts of the pandemic, representatives in Washington have negligently abandoned their posts. President Joe Biden extended the national emergency in February 2021. However, Congress has yet to formally debate the continuation of COVID-19’s status as a national emergency.
Passed in 1974, the National Emergency Act (NEA) requires Congress to meet no later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and every six-month period following, to determine whether or not the emergency should continue. The nation’s legislative branch has yet to converge to discuss the merits of continuing this emergency.
This week, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar created a joint resolution, applying pressure on Congress to undertake its due diligence and meet to terminate the COVID-19 emergency declared under NEA. A recent press release from Rep. Gosar expresses the need for Congress to assume its intended role in national emergencies due to the nation’s sharp decrease in COVID-19 cases and reopening of states.
“Over a year later, with cases falling, vaccine rates rising, and states reopening, it is prudent for Congress to consider the merit of the emergency continuation. I have always said, good process makes good policy, which makes good politics. Ensuring Congress adheres to good process is the foundation for an effective government, and I am proud to introduce this resolution to restore Congressional role in emergency powers,” said Rep. Gosar.
Following approval by the parliamentarian, the resolution will be referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which will have 15 days to report the bill, according to the Daily Caller. Rep. Gosar will have the option to take the resolution to the House floor, where it will become subject to a vote within three days if the Committee decides against reporting the bill.
Representatives who introduced or cosponsored the resolution, all members of the GOP, includes Representative Matt Rosendale (MT at-large), Thomas Massie (KY-4), Chip Roy (TX-21), Ralph Norman (SC-5), Brian Mast (FL-18), Randy Weber (TX-14), and Mo Brooks (AL-05).
Gosar stated on Twitter, “With cases falling, immunization rising, and states reopening, it’s necessary for Congress to consider the merit of the emergency continuation. My resolution requires that Congress debate and terminate the emergency declaration, as required by law.”
With cases falling, immunization rising, and states reopening, it’s necessary for Congress to consider the merit of the emergency continuation.
My resolution requires that Congress debate and terminate the emergency declaration, as required by law. https://t.co/ZqLfAZpxYK
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) May 21, 2021
Here is the resolution.