- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2023

House Republicans will push forward on Wednesday to pass another end of COVID-19 public health emergency legislation after claiming President Biden caved to their pressure campaign to declare the pandemic over.

The SHOW UP Act is a bill focused on preventing the Biden administration from locking in higher levels of pandemic-era telework within the federal government and demands that the administration submit to Congress a plan that will avoid the adverse effects of remote work.

“Washington shouldn’t be the last place to get back to work; it should have been the first. But yet, as we see today, at many agencies more than half of their federal workers are not showing up to work, and it’s hurting families back home across America,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, told reporters Tuesday.

The legislation — titled the Pandemic is Over Act — passed in a 220-210 party-line vote.

Mr. Scalise said Mr. Biden finally relented to end the COVID-19 national and public health emergency this spring after Republicans mounted a pressure campaign to eliminate the federal pandemic restrictions.

“Clearly, it caused some dilemmas amongst Democrats who are putting pressure on the White House. And finally, because, as the whip pointed out, we announced this last week, the White House yesterday finally said they will end these public health emergencies,” Mr. Scalise said. “The problem is the president said he’s going to wait until May. Well, Mr. President, if you know it’s the right thing to do, don’t wait until May. Let’s open our country back up again. Get our economy back up again.”

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The SHOW UP Act comes a day after House Republicans passed the bill to end the COVID-19 public health emergency despite the Biden administration announcing the day before that the emergency declaration would end in mid-May.

Mr. Biden Tuesday declared that he extended the national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic until May 11 to “get everything done,” explaining after the announcement that the Supreme Court prepares for February arguments on his attempt to put $400 billion toward student loan forgiveness by referencing the emergency.

House Republicans are introducing other post-COVID-19 related legislation to the floor this week, including the Health Care Workers Act to eliminate the coronavirus vaccine mandate on health care providers.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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