Biden Relents Again as White House Confirms He Will Sign GOP Bill Ending Covid Emergency After 197 House Dems Voted No
President Joe Biden abandoned his party in the House again after the White House confirmed he would sign a GOP-led bill to end the national COVID emergency one month after 197 Democrats voted “no” on the bill.
At the beginning of February, 197 House Democrats voted against a Republican-led effort in the House to end the national COVID Emergency, one day after Biden said he “strongly opposes” the GOP bill, but did not officially state he would veto the bill.
Then, in a turn of events on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reportedly told the Senate Democrats that Biden would not veto the bill. The Senate gave the bill its final approval on a 68-23 vote — sending it to Biden’s desk to be signed.
The Associated Press’s Seung Min Kim reported that a White House official confirmed to her that Biden still opposes the bill but that the president would sign it and his “administration will continue working with agencies to wind down the national emergency with as much notice as possible to Americans who could potentially be impacted.”
The Associated Press also noted:
A White House official said that when the House Republicans were first preparing to vote on the bill at the start of the year, it would have lifted the national emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic in February.
But now, it’s much closer to the White House’s own plan to wind down COVID national emergency status on May 11.
The legislation is a simple one-line measure saying that national emergency declared on March 13, 2020, “is hereby terminated.”
However, the move by Biden is the second time in recent weeks that he has signaled he would sign legislation after House Democrats worked against a bill on the belief he would veto the proposal.
Similar to Biden’s reversal on ending the national COVID emergency, Biden appeared to indicate he supported vetoing a recent disapproval resolution on Washington, DC’s, soft-on-crime criminal code revision, according to House Democrats. Punchbowl News also noted at the time that the House Democrat leaders “worked to limit the number of Democratic defectors… thus ensuring they were under the threshold for overriding a presidential veto.”
The House ended up voting with few defectors despite the city being in the midst of a crime wave.
However, following the House vote, Senate Democrats worried about the vote in the Senate for weeks. Then, after a meeting between Biden and Schumer, the president tweeted that he does not “support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections — such as lowering penalties for carjackings. If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did — I’ll sign it.”
The Senate voted on the legislation, allowing it to pass overwhelmingly on an 81-14 vote. Biden signed it into law last week.
Following Biden’s second reversal, Congressional Leadership Fund Communications Director Courtney Parella told Breitbart News, “Once again, House Democrats are showing voters how extreme they really are, while House Republicans continue keeping their promises to the American people.”