U.S. Senate passes Marshall resolution to end COVID-19 national state of emergency

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 3:08 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The U.S. Senate has passed another resolution from Senator Roger Marshall - this time ending the COVID-19 national state of emergency.

On Thursday, March 3, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says the Senate voted 48-47 to pass his legislation to end the COVID-19 national state of emergency in effect under the National Emergencies Act.

Despite all scientific advances and a much greater understanding of COVID, Marshall said President Joe Biden extended the declaration about two weeks prior.

“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 Sen. 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.”

In March 2020, Marshall said former President Donald Trump invoked the NEA because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February 2021 and again in February 2022, he said Biden extended it.

Under the NEA, Congress is required to decide whether the emergency should continue, a process Congress has not fully enforced therefore ceding power to the executive branch.

Marshall said a provision of the NEA grants Congress termination review of national emergencies after six months and every six months thereafter 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, Kansas’s junior Senator said Congressional interpretation of the law has decided the absence of a resolution introduced by any member signals unanimous consent for continuation.

By failing to meet, debate and vote on an emergency, Marshall said Congress effectively cedes more unchecked emergency powers to the President, similar to its failure to enforce War Powers provisions.

According to Marshall, the NEA outlines an expedited parliamentarian procedure for emergency termination resolutions. Once the resolution is introduced and approved, he said it is referred to the Committee of jurisdiction - the Senate Committee on Fiance in this instance.

Once received, the committee referral is to report one joint resolution along with recommendations within 15 days after the day of referral unless the chamber “shall otherwise determine by the yeas and nays.”

Once reported, Marshall said 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.”

Marshall said the NEA does not assign specific powers but allows the executive to call up powers outlined in other statutes. Among actions taken by the federal government under the national emergency declaration are as follows:

  • 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

To read the full resolution, click HERE.

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