tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debates Ending COVID-19 Health... CSPAN February 1, 2023 2:13am-3:15am EST
382, the pandemic is over act. president biden and i both agree that covid-19 pandemic is over. in fact, on the eve of the pandemic is over act going on the house floor, president biden finally announced he's going to end the covid-19 emergency declarations. i'm glad my bill finally forced the biden administration to act. however, president biden has taken too long to act on his statement last september that the pandemic is over. which is why i am moving forward with my bill to end the covid-19 public health emergency and finally restore checks and balances between congress and the executive branch. there was a time and place for covid-19 public health emergency. on this day three years ago then department of health and human services secretary azar first invoked the covid-19 public health emergency. the covid-19 public health emergency was used at the beginning of the pandemic to establish operation warp speed and provide for c.m.s. waivers
that led to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. please take conversations off of the house floor. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized mr. guthrie: the covid-19 public health emergency was used at the beginning of the pandemic to establish operation warp speed and provide c.m.s. waivers that led to millions of seniors receiving critical health care services through mediums such as telehealth, removing various forms of red tape getting in the way of health care providers' ability to care for their patients. now exactly three years later of the original disaster public health declaration, we are in a much better position to address covid-19. we have proven therapeutics in addition to 95% of the population either previously ineffected with covid-19 or vaccinated. even a senior administration official even stated, quote, we are in a pretty good place in the pandemic. cases are down dramatically from where they were the past few winters, end quote.
according to "politico" reporting. it's long overdue for president biden to unwind the public health emergency despite the overwhelming evidence that covid-19 is now endemic and the pandemic is over. secretary becerra just renewed the public health emergency for the 12th time. the pandemic is over act sends a loud and clear message to presbribethe american people arf living in a public emergency and we should take back our authorities granted under the constitution. the this would immediately terminate the public health emergency. nothing in my bill ends title 42 despite the administration's stating it would. let me repeat, nothing in this piety ends title 42. the biden administration alone controls title 42. it was written in 1944 before the authority of the public health emergency even existed. if the biden administration chooses to end title 42 when the
public health ends without working with us to secure the border, that's just another one of the failures to add to the list. to be clear, we support the ability to declare a public health emergency to address clear and serious public health threats. maintaining these regulatory flexibilities during a public health emergency are crucial. these authorities should only be used for limited periods of time based upon the particular circumstances and prevalence or immediacy of the public health threat. now it's time to rescind the president's emergency powers and congress can address the present and future needs that may arise with covid-19. since president biden took office, we have seen the pandemic used to justify countless executive overreaches. the president has used the pandemic one size fits all vaccine mandates for health care workers, mask mandates and evick shun moratoriums. while this will not relinquish all the president's power that has been used to make those decisions, it does make it more difficult to justify bypassing
congress to enact his policies. finally, i want to address the argument about unwinding it too quickly. the democrats had unified control or the administration could have undertaken rule making to unwind the covid-19 public health emergency. congress has already working -- we need to work together on extend ago number of provisions to the covid-19 public health emergency. where are their bills and that would extend or unwind these things? where was the hearing last congress if this was such an issue? mr. speaker, the pandemic is over and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 382. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 382, which would abruptly and irresponsibly end the covid-19 public health emergency
virtually overnight. it would require this action immediately without providing paishents, hospitals, providers, and states sufficient notice to safely unwind the numerous authorities, programs, and flexibilities that have been essential to protecting americans throughout the pandemic. last night the biden administration announced that the covid-19 public health emergency will probably end -- plans to be ended on may 11, 2023. this timeline provides health care providers and patients with the certainty and predictability needed to responsibly wind down our covid-19 response programs. as a result of these successful programs as well as the historic investments made by congress, millions of americans have received free vaccines and tests, safe access to their doctors through telehealth appointments, and continuous health care coverage through programs such as medicaid and chip. unfortunately, republicans are needlessly rushing forward today with a reckless plan that would
jeopardize the health of millions of americans by immediately ceasing these important response programs without advanced preparations. mr. speaker, a pandemic of mr. speaker, a pandemic of this magnitude cannot be wound down overnight. we cannot flip a switch and have covid-19 end by the snap of a finger. if this bill becomes law, it will have disastrous consequences. it will disrupt insurance coverage by allowing states to immediately kick vulnerable americans off their health care coverage without any protections. and this is deeply irresponsible and dangerous. americans would also immediately begin paying out of pocket for the covid-19 testing and hospitals would see an immediate payment cut of 20% for medicare patients with covid-19. in addition, important waivers and flexibilities, including certain telemedicine flexibilities that providers and patients have relied on for the duration of the covid-19
pandemic would be terminated immediately as well. this legislation would also result in elimination of vital tools for tracking covid-19 outb outbreaks in nursing homes and our residential facilities and it impacts our veterans. this would severely impact many veterans' access to medications that they need to manage chronic pain, complex mental health conditions, and substance use disorder. the legislation also threatens the progress that v.a. has made in ending veterans' homelessness. and finally, mr. speaker, it would abruptly end flexibilities for the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or snap, that would impact many americans struggling to put food on their tables, particularly for those having trouble finding work and low-income college students. now, republicans began their house majority with chaos and confusion earlier this month, and this bill continues that chaos and conviewings. -- confusion.
this time it hurts americans directly. responsibly transitioning to the postemergency future requires careful planning and coordination with public health officials and policymakers. i applaud the biden administration for properly guiding the nation to a safe transition as we unwind these programs without endangering access to care and treatment for americans. unfortunately, republicans are rushing to recklessly and dangerously eliminate all these protections immediately and without warning. so i just think it's irresponsible. and i strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. we've been asking for a year for the secretary of health and human services to start showing us a plan to unwinding the emergency health pandemic. now that we're here today doing this today, it seems like we're starting to move in that direction. unfortunately, we didn't have any hearings but we'll begin
with that today. i yield two minutes to the gentleman, mr. bucshon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bucshon: thank you. i rise in support of the pandemic is overact. a public health emergency was first declared by health and human services secretary alex azar in january, 2020. it was a different time. we knew little about the novel coronavirus that was overtaking the world. we didn't understand how it worked. we had no way to treat it or reduce the spread. now over three years later, the landscape has completely changed. reliable vaccines, tests and treatments are widely available. businesses are open. americans are traveling freely. and folks are ready and willing to get back to work. as i said from the beginning, it's unlikely we will ever fully rid ourselves of coronavirus. but it can and indeed has become something we have the ability to deal with. society can and should be returning to normal.
even president biden acknowledged as much in an interview last september. more than four months seeing. when he said -- ago, when he said the covid-19 pandemic is over. yet, this government has used this to retain fear in the american people and continue requests for funding. we need to act. i'm grateful for my colleague, mr. guthrie, for bringing this bill forward. and i urge my colleagues to support the enbill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to the gentleman from california, mr. correa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. correa: i rise in opposition. the covid-19 has been the worst pandemic we've had in this world in over 100 years.
it's a medical issue to be addressed by doctors and not a political issue. today our colleagues are asking us to end the covid public health emergency. yet, the biden administration's current extension of the public health emergency is a rational one. it's rational in a way we exit from this emergency declaration. we let our health care system adjust from this tremendous terrible pandemic that continues to evolve in our society. i would say a politically driven end to covid-19 is not the way to run our health care system. furthermore, while my colleagues are saying there's need for -- no need for a public health emergency, they want to keep title 42 at the border because of its public health emergency implications. my colleagues, i would say to you, if you truly believe the
pandemic is over, then you can't say that title 42 is still needed at the border. because of a health care crisis. mr. speaker, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: mr. speaker, we're ending the emergency powers of the president. we're not conceding that covid-19 is over in this country and people need to take mitigation. we certainly don't want it coming across our southern border so we support keeping title 42 in place. i yield to the gentlewoman from florida, mrs. cammack. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. cammack: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 382, the pandemic is overact. i want to thank my friend and colleague from kentucky, m mr. brett guthrie, for leading this important action. this week we're voting on several bills.
the emergency declaration should be gone away. constituents have been asking, heck, demanding, that we end this perpetual state of covid-19 emergencies and get back to normal. president biden declared that the covid-19 pandemic was over. yet, interestingly, the federal emergency declaration is still in place. it makes you wonder, why would the president declare that the pandemic is over but not officially rescind the emergency declaration? in fact, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem more concerned about keeping the public emergency in place rather than addressing the problems we are being faced. investigating the estimated $183 billion with a b in covid unemployment fraud and recovering those funds that were stolen from the american taxpayers. or the approximately $150 billion in unobligated funds that's just sitting there for covid. that's a pretty easy way to start reducing spending. or how about the approximately
half a trillion dollars that's been obligated but hasn't been pushed out the door yet? ask yourselves, who benefits from the emergency declaration remaining in place. it is a fact that the continuation of the public health emergency is costing taxpayers billions of dollars and worsening already crippling inflation. inflation which is costing florida families in my district an estimated $10,000 extra a year in basic goods and services. i don't know anyone who can afford an extra 10 grand a year. the federal mandates, like this, have increased private health insurance costs and grossly exacerbated the ever-increasing national debt that will be passed on to my generation, our children and our grandchildren. it's time to get our kids back to school, folks back to work, and life back to normal. it's time for us to turn the page and end the covid-19 emergency powers. let's get back to lowering energy costs. let's get back to work and let's get back to work in person.
i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes now to the gentleman from oregon, a member of the ways and means committee, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in permitting me to speak on this. it's not quite as simple as my friend from florida implies. today, we're voting to upend the health care system and interrupt patient care. ending the public health emergency prematurely would have far-reaching applications, and this is a waste of time. the biden administration has already made clear that they're planning on ending the emergency in may. why are we spending time abruptly ending this declaration, which is going to end in three months anyway, when we could instead have a serious conversation about making this as smooth a transition as possible? there are many things that are involved here. congress already started this work in the omnibus by beginning a process to wind down medicaid
enrollment policies and extending important programs, like telehealth. i was happy my bipartisan legislation to extend medicare's hospital at home program was extended in this manner. we fought for this because we viewed the waivers and policies of the last three years has a blueprint for future opportunities to innovate and extract value from our health care system. this work was bipartisan because both sides of the aisle saw the benefit of the pandemic-era policies. it's unfortunate, instead of continuing to build on that work, my colleagues are posturing. i heard from hospitals in my district, and i imagine you've heard in yours, how important it is to extend, not end, the waivers that address the capacity and staffing challenges. if this bill were enacted, those operations would be upended. state medicaid programs would be an unnecessary -- in unnecessary chaos with millions at risk of
losing their health insurance. seniors would lose access to covid tests because medicare would no longer be able to pay for them. these are just a few examples of the complexity and how irresponsible this legislation is. and it certainly does not honor the more than a million americans who've lost their lives to this disease. after a traumatic three years full of loss, the last thing the public needs is additional chaos at the hands of the federal government. at the start of the pandemic, we saw an often divided congress come together to bring meaningful relief to american families. i would hope that we would continue that same spirit of cooperation and dedication to our constituents at the end of this chapter. i know we've all heard from our hospitals and health care systems about the needs they still have. i believe we can work together to make this a stable transition
and learn the lessons from the pandemic. i urge my colleagues to reject this legislation and instead come to the table to work to end the transition in a reasonable fashion. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. i'll just point out that the omni gave the states clarity in how to deal with the medicaid situation moving forward. we also extended telehealth. there are a lot of things we've been trying to do. we've been asking the administration for a year to address some of the things that my friend from oregon has just brought up. we will -- i will now yield one minute to the gentlelady from iowa, dr. miller-meeks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. miller-meeks: thank you, mr. speaker. as both a physician and former director of the iowa department of public health, i agree what president biden said in september of last year, the pandemic is over. more specifically, even though
sars covid is over -- i'm proud to support h.r. 283 which acknowledges the truth of the president's word. when covid-19 first reached our shores, the public health emergency declaration was a tool that helped our country mobilize, develop testing, developing vaccines, get p.p.e. however, this emergency declaration is no longer needed. and instead of putting an end to it, the president has continually renewed it with no end in sight. for example, we have already extended telehealth for two years. from mass man -- mask mandates and vaccine mandates to extended medicaid expansion to previously ineligible participants and student loan forgiveness, the president and the minority is expanding government overreach. what's irresponsible is not putting a transition in place during this past year. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 382 and put an end to this
outdated bloated government overreach. mr. guthrie: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield now three minutes to the gentleman from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the ranking member and i thank the manager of this legislation. however, mr. speaker, i rise today to try and speak something called commonsense speak. and that is for my colleagues to understand that americans reject confusion and chaos. according to "the new york times," an abrupt end to the emergency declaration would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty throughout the health care system for states, for hospitals, and doctors' offices, and most importantly, for the tens of millions of americans that is evidence.
this is from data -- this is data from the white house. president biden crafted a covid task force that calmed the uncalm waters that we suffered during the last administration. does anyone remember maybe we should drink disinfectant in the midst of covid-19? well, let me tell you in houston, texas, we let me tell you in houston, texas, we remember t6,8 is it, 798 prns died from around the world. 1.1 million died in the united states. it was only after an overwhelming effort by the biden administration that we began to see the clock move on individuals willing to get their first, second, and third shots, their booster shots. that's why we are living. because we were vaccinated. as we overcame the stigma and wrong-headed information that was scaring people about vaccines. we didn't lose a million people
on vaccines. we lost a million people on not having that vaccination timely. i am struck by this legislation. the pandemic is not over. 500 people a day die right now as i'm standing here from covid. that's reasonable amount. i know there are other infectious diseases. doesn't it make sense if we can have a vaccine and protocol that allows people to live, our children, those with pre-existing conditions that we want them to do so. the biden administration has announced that they intend to reduce this emergency pandemic, or pandemic emergency, national emergency declaration in may. it will allow our health facilities to get themselves organized for the possible onslaught. it will also deprive impoverished persons from the ability to get free vaccinations, including possibly flu shots we are doing in houston, texas.
i remember over 70 testing sites that i put in my district with health care providers week after week after week so that people could be tested and so we could bring down covid in houston, texas. i remember vaccination sites where people stood in line, 1,000 at a time, to get vaccinated for free. are we jumping for joy to condemn and now undermine the emergency pandemic that was utilized? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: all i can say is health professionals say no. the speaker pro tempore: would the gentlewoman like another .>> would the gentlewoman like another minute? i yield. ms. jackson lee: the doctors offices will say no. they need their patients healthy. as many people that need vaccinated should get vaccinated guided by your health care provider. i don't think it makes any good news or sense to be able to talk about how you never got tested,
how you never got vaccinated. that's all well and good. i applaud an individual who was able to survive. not getting tested, not getting vaccinated. you see, i know of so many of my close friends who died. who died. because there was not a vaccination. there was not good health care. they didn't come to the end stages of covid and covid killed them. so i don't make mockery of the hard work of president biden. and i truly believe that his time frame i might think it's a little too quick, but i adhere to the president's time frame of may 2023. let us organize so that we can save lives. at any moment -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. pallone: another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: at any moment, mr. speaker, at any moment we can have a surge of covid-19. we saw that at the beginning of the convergence of flu that was high this year.
and covid. so i don't celebrate this legislation. i don't take angst or anger with the individual who thinks this is the right way. i know i'm on the right side. i'm on the dominant side of truth that six million plus died. and 500 are dying every day. this is not a time to end the emergency declaration. we should also make sure that we are not creating chaos and confusion. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to submit into the record "new york times" article, u.s. plans to end public health emergency for covid in may. and again emphasizing that we need not have chaos and confusion. i unfortunately see no purpose in this bill and vote against it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. we are trying to end the emergency powers of the president during the pandemic.
we recognize covid is still an issue that people have to deal with. we are absolutely know we are going to be working together over the next few weeks and few months to make sure that we have in place the proper protections. i yield two minutes to my good friend from georgia, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today to speak in favor of h.r. 382, the pandemic is over act. mr. speaker, to quote president biden, the covid-19 pandemic is over. this is one of the few times i have agreed with him from this chamber. now that the house is finally voting to end the public health emergency, president biden has suddenly decided to end it in may. it's past time for us to act. that's why i'll be voting for the pandemic is over act and i urge my colleagues to do the same thing. this is not just a symbolic gesture. it's critically important that we vote to end the so-called
emergency once and for all. this administration has maintained the emergency declaration for three years, mr. speaker. three years. americans have moved on from the pandemic. georgians in my district went back to work and back to school over two years ago. why is our country still under public health emergency? the reason why is because it's the vehicle. this administration has used to implement mass mandates and other leftist policies. it's nothing more than an excuse for federal overreach that prohibits states from making decisions for their constituents. it's time to make it official. let's end this covid-19 public health emergency and focus on reviving our economy. i'd like to thank representative guthrie and chairwoman rogers rodgers for working together on this legislation and i encourage my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you.
i yield myself one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized mr. pallone: i just want to commend ms. sheila jackson lee, my colleague, for everything that she just said. i remember so many times during the first year of the covid pandemic when she was calling me and trying to get testing sites, trying to make sure that a lot of her constituents were tested and then receive the vaccine. it's very easy for our colleagues on the other side now to say, well, this is over. it's time to move on. but the bottom line is that we never know for sure exactly what's going to manifest itself. even when the president said yesterday that he's planning on ending this public health emergency on may 11, notice he said planned. because we are not sure that's possible. but in any case it makes no sense to just say we are going to do this immediately upon enactment of this bill, which is
not going to be enacted, nonetheless, because we need to do a lot of preparation and planning. and we did some of that even in the omnibus that passed at the end of the last session with continuous eligibility for medicaid, for example. my understanding is the way this bill is worded that would end if this bill passed immediately as well. so our point is that this is a pandemic that we just have to be very careful about what we are doing. we have to do adequate preparation. the president has said may 11 is the likely date. that's fine. but it has to be based on science. we shouldn't just be getting up here and say end it immediately. i yield back. sorry, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. balderson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. balderson: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. guthrie. i rise in support of h.r. 382, the pandemic is over act. as representatives for the american people we owe it to them to assess our country's
response to covid-19 pandemic and look to better prepare for future pandemics. most importantly, the american people deserve honesty and normalcy. the pandemic is over. even president biden said as much last september. that level of honesty from the president is a step in the right direction. but after the president publicly declared the pandemic over, he extended the public health emergency not just once but two more times. today marks three years since the original public health emergency declaration. our country has been through a lot in the last three years, but it's time to get back to normal. it's time to give power back to the people. i urge passage of h.r. 382. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: may i ask how much time remains on each side, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey has 15 1/2 minutes remaining.
mr. pallone: if you have speakers, ail continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky has 17 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized mr. guttery: thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. guthrie. mr. guttery: thank you, i yield to mr. obernolte. mr. obernolte: in times of national crisis our constitution and federal laws empower our president to temporarily seize extraordinary power. this is necessary to allow him the authority to alter federal law to meet the urgent needs of the emergency. in this case that declaration of emergency to meet the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic occurred almost three years ago. but, mr. speaker, also gum gum in that authority is the expectation that the executive branch will return that authority to the people when it is no longer needed. that is certainly the case
today. congress has met hundreds and hundreds of times since the executive branch first declared the state of emergency. and the congress has had abundant opportunity to pass federal legislation codifying or rejecting the president's recommendations. but, unfortunately, the biden administration has recently renewed the state of emergency for a 12th time. this is not what the founding fathers intended. mr. speaker, the founding fathers intended the legislative branch of government, the people's elected representatives, to be the ones that set laws for the united states of america. it is past time that that authority be returned to the people. i urge support of this resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the jared moskowitz, the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moskowitz: mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to house resolution 382, and
urge my colleagues to support my motion to recommit, which would prohibit this legislation from going into effect as it will negatively impact medicare beneficiaries. speaker mccarthy has publicly stated that puts to medicare will be off the table in any debt ceiling negotiations. but that does not carry over to today's legislation. house resolution 382 would increase patient costs and cut hospital payments to medicare pishes. in its -- beneficiaries. in its nearly 68 years of existence, medicare has given millions of americans access to affordable health care coverage. generations have been given peace of mind knowing they'll have comprehensive available coverage to them of any age regardless of the financial status. in 2021, nearly 64 million americans including 4.8 million floridians were enrolled in medicare. these individuals are democrats, republicans, and everything in between. they are our friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, mentors. we must ensure that these flishes can continue --
beneficiaries can continue to rely on the lifesaving coverage provided through medicare. the president has announced his intention to end the public health emergency on may 11, provide ago glide path to smoothly transition out of the emergency era programs. as florida's former director of emergency management during the early days of the pandemic, i helped stand up many of the public health emergency initiatives that provided americans with covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines at no charge. these initiatives offered enhanced social safety net benefits to help nation cope with the pandemic and minimize the impact. what would an instant cut to the social safety net mean for medicare beneficiaries and their families? the american family could face and abrupt increase in cost and decrease in care what would this mean for your local hospital at home. they could see 20% for care of covid patients without a responsible plan in place. millions of people would abruptly face increased barriers to critical hospital care.
rural patients would be among those most impacted. why are my colleagues pushing for this to happen? it's rooted in political messaging not thoughtful policy. instant termination to the public health emergency without proper coordination with agency, states, and proaders would -- providers and threaten provider payments. i like many of my colleagues and millions of americans want to officially end the pandemic and the emergency. as i mentioned, president biden has announced his intext to do so -- intention to do so while taking the time necessary to absorb the impacts. pushing for an immediate end for messaging purposes could leave millions without access to programs that they are currently on. mr. speaker, it's for those reasons i submit a motion to recommit that will prohibit the bill from going into effect if it will negatively impact medicare beneficiaries. i ask for unanimous consent to add the text of this amendment
to the record immediately prior to the vote of the motion to recommit. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: , thank you, mr. speaker. i know we plussed up accounts for covid that went to hospitals. i haven't seen any bill, i'm not sure there is any bill that's been offered from the other side to continue the plus up for covid spending, i guess what's been referred to in this motion to recommit must be what they are referring to. . we do have to save medicare. in the reduction inflation act money was taken out of medicare. if you take the rebate rule, $288 billion was taken out of medicare with no republican votes. taken from medicare. and used to spend on things on medicare but other programs i am not sure. if they want to have an intellectual discussion on saving medicare, that's going to be something we're going to have to work on over the next two years. i will now yield two minutes to my good friend from new york,
the gentleman from new york. mr. mole narrow -- molinaro. mr. molinaro: the emergency is over. the president declared the public health emergency over. it has been extended a dozen times, including twice, during a "60 minutes." 1,100 days ago. the public health emergency was warranted. i know this. i lived it as a county executive where i took immediate emergency action to protect our most vulnerable and helped to save lives. i saw firsthand the flexibilities granted under such an emergency. expanded -- expanding access to care and services during a time of essential need. i also simultaneously saw how the absolute power granted within such an order corrupted new york state government and enabled governors and the
president to choose who was and was not essential. it is important that we find bipartisan solutions and gremths to extend those -- agreements to extend those flexibilities we like. but it's past time to end the executive and presidential overreach. the emergency executive authority should be limited and only for extraordinary circumstances. and this is no longer an extraordinary circumstance. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes now to the gentlewoman from michigan, ms. tlaib. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. tlaib: mr. speaker, in the state of michigan, there has been over 16,000 covid-19 cases just in this month. nearly 200 people have died. death and illness and viruses should not be politicized. in both our wayne and oakland counties, we are still seeing nearly 3,000 cases per week. so the pandemic is far from
over. we have residents being hospitalized and families having to say goodbye to their loved ones because of this deadly virus. this pandemic is not over. the pandemic is still preventing people from going to work, school, disrupting everyday lives. by ending resources and policies that have surely saved lives, we are leaving our residents and communities out to fend for themselves. they cannot do this alone. we must continue to provide resources to combat covid-19. also, the impacts of long covid. from testing to treatment and care. we can continue to save lives together. continuing to provide resources is not only the right and sensible thing to do, it is the moral thing to do. please, again, we must vote no on h.r. 382. thank you and i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: i yield myself one
minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. i agree with my friend from michigan is that we absolutely have to look at putting things in place and keeping things in place that protect our stcitize from covid-19. we are not dismissing that. what we're saying is -- and it should be a legislative branchwide issue is that we believe that if things are going to stay in place or put in place, it should be by an act of congress, signed by the president, as the constitution says, instead of the president just making decisions for almost three years now, two administrations, almost three years now. and so that's what we're saying. we look forward to working together to solve these issues and moving forward. and i will reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i'll just yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: i listened to my colleague from kentucky. you know, i just -- as much as i respect you, i totally disagree what you've been saying here.
under the public law right now, the emergency, when it starts -- when it ends is done by the administration. specifically, the secretary of health and human services i guess recommends to the president. and there's a reason for that and that's because he gets all this information from various sources about the science, about when we should be doing this. and so i disagree to say that we as the congress should be the ones that make that determination either to begin or end. but in addition to that, the gentleman from kentucky mentioned in response to one of my democratic colleagues the provision that we passed in the last congress in the inflation and reduction act to negotiate prices for prescription drugs under medicare. the fact of the matter is, that wasn't a cut to medicare. that was a way of trying to make drug prices more affordable for our seniors. to suggest that somehow that's a cut, i don't think is accurate.
i mean, this is a major savings to seniors' out of pocket once this program goes into effect. you know, by way of background, again, some of my democratic colleagues have stressed that we hear constantly from the other side of the aisle this idea that, you know, the republicans are going to, you know, refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless they can cut social security or medicare or medicaid and other vital programs. they seem so determined to cut americans' health care that they're willing to recklessly risk defaulting on the national debt and wreaking havoc on the economy. again, it's the same thing here. what we're saying is, if you cut off this emergency earlier than the president is suggesting under this program, you'll end a lot of programs that are important. continuous eligibility for medicaid. 20% cut in hospital payments. free testing. free vaccines. i mean, all this ends.
and it makes no sense, in my opinion. we should be trying to do what we can to help american families and make the right decisions based on the science. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. i'll just -- i did use the word cut and i think i corrected myself. we're spending less money in medicare. take money out of medicare under the inflation reduction act. but that money wasn't really put back into medicare to spend in other programs. there's $288 billion less being spent in medicare. i will now yield as much time as she may consume to the chairwoman of the energy and commerce today, the first chairw chai chairwoman in the oldest committee in congress, chairwoman mcmorris rodgers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. rodgers: thank you, mr.
speaker. i appreciate the gentleman for his help in the health subcommittee and bringing forward this legislation today, h.r. 382, the pandemic is overact. just to recap, three years ago today, health and human services secretary alex azar had declared a public health emergency for the emerging threat that was the novel coronavirus. and the u.s. had just identified its first official case over a week prior. within one year of the public health emergency, thanks to the early leadership of president trump and operation warp speed, an authorized vaccine helped prevent thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. three years later, it's estimated that 95% of those over 16 have been vaccinated or have had covid-19. so earlier in january, president biden extended the public health emergency for the 12th time. continuing to use the pandemic and the national and public health emergency authorities to
achieve progressive policy goals. this includes pushing for an indefinite extension on the moratorium on evictions. the suspension of student loan interest payments. and attempts to require masking in public transit. so last week, the house republicans announced we would bring this bill, along with representative paul gosar's bill, to end the covid-19 national emergency to the floor today. and now just yesterday, the biden administration decided to announce their plans to end the public health emergency on may 11, 2023. which cnn has reported only came after the house democrats were worried about voting against this bill without the white house having a plan in place. whatever the reason or the rationale for their announcement, i am pleased that the administration is following the house republicans and finally abiding by president biden's own acknowledge four months ago that the pandemic is
over. but it shouldn't take another three months to unwind this authoritarian control. it's long past time for the biden administration to stop relying on an emergency that no longer exists so they can make unilateral decisions. i urge my fellow democratic colleagues to join, join the democratic administration and the house republicans in voting yes on h.r. 382, declare the covid-19 pandemic over, give americans their lives back, and work to develop policies so that we're better prepared moving forward. the senate voted in a bipartisan way to end the national emergency, and i hope that this bill also will gain bipartisan support. and with that i yield back. mr. guthrie: i reserve. i have no further speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: i actually have one more speaker who's on his way, but you said you don't have --
mr. guthrie: i have no further speakers. mr. pallone: you have no additional ones. well, i'm prepared to close but if he comes down we'll -- you know, we'll ask him to speak. so i will reserve. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you. i just think -- he is here? let me just say this in closing -- we do have one more speaker, though. i just think that this legislation that's before us today is totally unnecessary and crates all -- creates all kinds of problems. the president has indicated his plan is to end the emergency on -- i believe he said may 12. we estimated it would probably end sometime in april of this year when we were working on the omnibus at the end of last year,
but we put in the omnibus a lot of protections and guardrails for when the covid-19 -- when the public health emergency would end. but there's still more that needs to be done. and my concern is that the way this bill is written, it basically eliminates a lot of those guardrails, a lot of those protections, like the continuous eligibility for medicaid, and at the same time doesn't allow -- because it says immediately upon enactment -- us to wind this down in an effective way so we don't have the problems like the 20% cut for hospitals, eliminating continuous eligibility, free testing, free vaccines. there's so many things here that the public relies on. i didn't even mention the veterans, the nursing homes, the snap program. that it just to me is reckless to say we're just going to end it immediately. let's just shelf this legislation.
i suggest a no vote and let the president and this administration wind this process down in an effective way to protect americans. now, i reserve the balance of my time -- mr. guthrie: we'll reserve. mr. pallone: and i will yield now three minutes to -- three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. takano, who chairs the veterans' committee -- i mean, who's the ranking member of the veterans' committee. mr. takano: thank you, ranking member pallone. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 382, the pandemic is overact. this is an effort by our republican colleagues to hastily terminate a public health emergency designation. it will have damaging effects on our nation's veterans and those who care for them. currently, this emergency designation grants our government a number of critical flexibilities that not only allow it to work more efficiently and effectively, but are essential to supporting america's veteran population. when we passed the cares act in 2020, we did so carefully and thoughtfully to ensure that
veterans would be able to safely and quickly access the care they needed throughout the covid-19 pandemic. we also ensured the department of veterans affairs and its employees had the tools and flexibilities they needed to meet their mission. i'm especially concerned by the risk that would be caused by hastily terminating health care providers' ability to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth. this will severely impact millions of patients' access to medications they need to manage chronic pain, complex mental health conditions, and substance abuse disorder. veterans who experience these conditions at greater risks rates are among those effect -- greater rates are among those effective. a sudden termination of the public health emergency would mean all of them would need immediate in-person visits with their prescribers in order to
continue their treatments. an additional 247,000 veterans have active controlled substance prescriptions through virtual care at v.a. and many could also be at risk. and during the public health emergency, we also specifically addressed the unique health and safety needs facing homeless veterans. those actions included ensuring that veterans experiencing homelessness had access to basic needs like shelter, food, clothing, and transportation and will also ensuring service providers have the funding they needed to maintain social distancing and distribute those in need across multiple facilities to reduce the spread of covid-19. . what we learned is providing these basic needs to homeless veterans works in promoting housing security. last week, v.a. announced it housed over 40,000 veterans needing housing in 2022, surpassing its goal of housing
38,000 veterans. that can be directly attributed to the authorities congress put in place during the pandemic. rolling back those flexibilities now would mean more veterans would go without the resources thy they need to survive. if my republican colleague are so insistent on ending the emergency prematurely i hope they're also going to quickly make permanent the authorities veterans need. i'm proud to support congresswoman williams' bill h.r. 491, the return home housing act and co-sponsored by cherfilus-mccormick. mr. pallone: i yield two minutes to the gentleman. mr. takano: and congresswoman cherfilus-mccormick's bill for homes resleet vet rans. the ensures there's no lapse in the care homeless veterans need.
i hope my republican colleagues will support them. the biden administration announced last night it intends to extend the emergency declaration to end on may 11. unlike my colleagues who want to irresponsibly put an end to the national emergency today, the additional time gives agencies and congress to ensure there's no disrammings in care and services for veterans. my republican colleagues have a choice to make. they can continue to insist on pushing the agenda that politicizes the pandemic, terminate the public health emergency prematurely and wholly disregard the disastrous impact it would have on veterans or put aside this short sighted approach and use their newfound control of congress to do the job they were sent to washington to do. pass legislation that help ours nation's veterans and i urge my colleagues to oppose h.r. 382. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: i urge opposition to this bill, as mr. takano said so many things will end immediately, nedlessly, by this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the recognition and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. guthrie: thank you, mr. speaker. one of the point misfriend from california brought up, we have a three-year running telehealth, we all know we can't put the genie back in the bottle, we have to work on telehealth, but we know there have been diversion of controlled substances through telehealth. we know that. so why don't we take back our authority, let's negotiate moving forward. let's think about where this has gone. three years ago today, secretary azar, two administrations declares a public health emergency and started doing a lot of things.
one that it allowed emergency authorizations so we had therapeutic we had all these things come forward. also the status, not every statute under health and human services but because you have the status of a public health emergency you can invoke other statutes. the defense production act, president trump to get respirator, moving a ship outside of new york so people in new york and new jersey could have an extra hospital, a mobile hospital. all of those things happened. that's what, when we delegate our authority those are the things we move forward. on january 20, 2021, almost a million people were being vaccinate. president biden came in to continue the vaccination process. and then a year into his administration, on our side of the aisle, send a letter to health and human services secretary saying this needs to end, we can't continue to operate under emergency authority, let's have a plan, everything that they've talked about today, every speaker they've had, let's have a plan to end this emergency and let's do it in a way that we can
address the issues that need to be addressed. we learned a lot the pandemic of things that work. let's fix things that don't work like the telehealth diversion of controlled substances. and other thing, we've been a area in, since february 1, tomorrow, almost a year since then, and we haven't seen a plan, we haven't seen anything, there was some stuff done in the omnibus. but those -- and with telehealth, but that's what we're saying. we don't need to continue to operate the country in an emergency status. we need to end it. so why bring the bill up. they say it's irresponsible to move forward. the bill was in rules last night. this bill was in rules last night. we've had no word from anybody in the executive branch that they're going to deal with this. whale the bill was being considered in rules, they come out it's going to end on may 11. so this bill is needed. it is needed. because it's moving us forward.
so what we can do now as the bill makes its way to the senate, i don't know if the senate will take it up or not, but what i will pledge to my friend from new jersey and my friend from california who is the ranking democrat on health and human services, or -- health subcommittee, that we'll work to make sure we find the areas that we need to continue the lessons that we learned that we need to put into place in the statute and to take care of things that need to be taken care of. but what we don't need to do is allow carte blanche, three-year, open emergency pandemic that we know has had issues as well. we always talk about the twhings want to queach can talk about those and work on them. the things we need to address using telehealth to divert controlled substances and we know that that has taken place, there are examples of that. we absolutely need to address that. i will pledge that we will work on our side of the aisle with our friends on the other side of the aisle to find things to make sure that we continue to address
the fact that we still have covid-19. one thing to note is we are still going to have covid-19 and we don't need it coming across our borders. because we're doing this we also need need to keep title 4 in place. but i look forward to working together. this is necessary. it's moved this administration hopefully forward. we can say that may 11 we move forward on this. and i'm proud to be the sponsor of it. i urge my colleagues to support