WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden does not plan to veto a GOP-sponsored resolution that would end the declared 2020 Covid emergency, two sources told NBC News.
The Senate passed the Republican-sponsored resolution in a 68-23 vote On Wednesday. Twenty Democrats and two independents who joined them voted with Republicans in favor of the resolution to reverse the emergency declaration. The resolution needed only a simple majority to pass.
The measure would end the national emergency declared by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 at the start of the Covid pandemic.
The resolution now goes to Biden’s desk for his signature. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., told members of his caucus that Biden does not plan to veto the measure, according to a Senate Democratic source, and a White House official also confirmed that Biden would sign the legislation.
The House passed the legislation in January in a 220-210 vote along party lines.
The White House source said Biden «strongly opposes» the measure, but indicated that Biden would sign it because the administration already planned to end the Covid national and public health emergency on May 11.
The official said that «the administration will continue to work with the agencies to end the national emergency with as much notice as possible to the Americans who might be affected.»
Before the House vote in January, the White House voiced its opposition to the resolution in a formal noticesaying it would be a «grave disservice to the American people» but stopped short of threatening a presidential veto.
In the notice, the White House announced its intention to end the national emergency in May, but took issue with the Republican Party’s timetable, saying that «an abrupt end to emergency declarations would create great chaos and uncertainty throughout the system.» of medical care».
“Because of this uncertainty, tens of millions of Americans could risk abruptly losing their health insurance, and states could risk losing billions of dollars in funding,” the White House said at the time. «In addition, hospitals and nursing homes that have relied on the flexibilities enabled by emergency declarations will be thrown into chaos without adequate time to retrain staff and establish new billing processes, likely leading to disruptions in care and late payments, and many facilities across the country will experience lost revenue.»
This is the second time in this Congress that Biden announced that he planned to sign a Republican proposal that the White House had opposed. He recently signed a bill to repeal a controversial measure that would have made changes to the Washington, DC penal code.