Last Updated on May 20, 2021
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) is championing a joint resolution to end the state of emergency declared by President Donald Trump on March 13, 2020, officially declaring the COVID-19 pandemic an emergency and giving the White House unique powers meant to curb the threat posed by the China-originated virus.
In a press release, Gosar’s office explained, “After over a year of living under an emergency declaration with Congress failing to do its due diligence to decide if the emergency should continue, this resolution will force Congress to debate and vote on termination.”
Alongside Gosar are Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Chip Roy (R-TX), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Brian Mast (R-FL), and Randy Weber (R-TX). Massie was sharply criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for being the only member of the House of Representatives to vote against the original COVID-19 relief package in 2020.
Gosar explained that “Over a year later, with cases failing, vaccine rates rising, and states reopening, it is prudent for Congress to consider the merit of this emergency continuation. I have always said, good process, makes good policy, which makes for good politics. Ensuring Congress adhere 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.”
“The National Emergencies Act was never intended to give the President endless and unlimited authority over Americans’ lives,” said Roy. Rosendale added, “Too often, government policy and basic reality don’t align. The vaccine is here, it is available, and the emergency is over, but on paper, the emergency continues.”
Gosar’s office explained that the NEA, passed in 1974, was designed to “reign in presidential emergency powers” by allowing Congress to “enforce checks and balances on these unique powers by determining whether or not to terminate the emergency six months after it is declared.” The statement adds, “Congress has lazily interpreted the law to mean that if no member motions to terminate the emergency, then there is no opposition to it. This blatantly ignores good process, keeping representatives from debating and voting on the merits of continuing the emergency and the unusual powers it gives the President.”
Gosar has repeatedly questioned government policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After it became clear that the Biden administration sought to use the influence of the private sector to push controversial COVID-19 vaccine passports, Gosar was one of the first House Republicans to oppose the plan. “Vaccine passports but no voter ID,” wrote Gosar on March 29. “Clown country.”