Senate PASSES Marshall’s Resolution to End COVID State of Emergency
(Washington, D.C., March 3, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted 48-47 in favor of his legislation to end the COVID-19 national state of emergency currently in effect under the National Emergencies Act (NEA). Despite all scientific advances and our possession of a much greater understanding of COVID, President Joe Biden stealthily extended the national emergency declaration two weeks ago. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s speech.
“After nearly two years of living under this state of emergency, the American people are worn out and yearning to breathe free; they long for their God-given freedoms, and for leaders to take their side. There is no doubt, it’s time for our nation to learn to live with COVID,” said Senator Marshall. “I am proud my colleagues came together to repeal this emergency declaration and delivered a symbolic victory to our citizens that normalcy is around the corner and that limited government and our constitutional rights still reign supreme. It’s high time to stop talking about restrictions and the unknown. We must chart a new course to victory today that respects the virus and our freedoms.”
You may click HERE to view Senator Marshall’s remarks as prepared.
In March 2020, President Donald Trump invoked the NEA in regard to COVID-19. In February 2021 and then again in February 2022, President Joe Biden extended it. Under the NEA, Congress is mandated to determine whether the emergency should continue, a process Congress has not fully enforced, ceding power to the executive. You may click HERE to view the resolution. Senators Mike Braun (IN), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), Ted Cruz (TX), and Rand Paul (KY) Rick Scott (FL), and Steve Daines (MT) cosponsored Senator Marshall’s resolution.
A provision in the NEA grants Congress termination review of national emergencies, stating that after six months, and every six months after the emergency continues, “each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether the emergency shall be terminated.” However, Congressional interpretation of this law has determined that the absence of a resolution introduced by any member signals unanimous consent for continuation. In failing to meet, debate, and vote on an emergency, Congress is effectively ceding more unchecked emergency powers to the executive similar to its failure to enforce War Powers provisions.
The NEA outlines an expedited parliamentarian procedure for emergency termination resolutions. Once the resolution is introduced and approved by the parliamentarian, it is referred to the Committee of jurisdiction, the Senate Committee on Finance in this instance. The committee of referral is to report one joint resolution along with its recommendations within 15 calendar days after the day of referral, unless the chamber “shall otherwise determine by the yeas and nays.” Once reported, the terminating resolution “shall become the pending business” of the chamber and a vote on final passage is to occur within three calendar days thereafter (unless the chamber “shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays”).
The NEA does not assign specific powers but allows the executive to call up powers outlined in other statutes. Among the actions taken by the federal government under the national emergency declaration are:
- Activation of the Ready Reserve
- Coast Guard officer retiree activation
- Coast Guard enlistee retiree activation
- Coast Guard enlistee extension
- Deferral of Coast Guard end-strength limitation
- Extension of customs deadlines
- Closure of land and ferry crossings along the U.S. northern and southern borders
- Suspension of student loan payments and interest on certain federal loans