As the House continues to talk about spending bills that must pass, some Republicans are making new demands that they say are necessary for them to vote for important renewal bills. At least 19 Republicans have said they won't back the outbreak and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act if certain changes aren't made to fix things that were done during the COVID-19 outbreak. These politicians say that the federal government didn't do enough to stop the pandemic, and they aren't sure if the spending law should be renewed at all.
House Republicans lay out demands in latest spending fight https://t.co/BFzDT14wjy TY @chiproytx for being a rare statesman in a sea of weaklings. TY for using your critical thinking, Constitutional knowledge, and courage to stand against crooked Executive Branch totalitarians.
— Kris Held,MD (@kksheld) August 2, 2023
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) is leading the effort. In a message to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, he said that the bill should not be brought to the floor without the reforms that are needed to protect Americans from what they see as tyrannical and incompetent public health bureaucrats. The letter lists all of the things that these conservative Republicans want, such as a cut in spending to bring funding levels back to where they were before COVID-19 and a ban on using government money for research that aims to improve how things work.
The letter focuses on the government's COVID-19 vaccine programme and asks for "proper compensation" for people who say the vaccines hurt them. They also want an expert group to look into the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for future diseases. Also, the lawmakers want the reauthorization bill to include measures that would end all leftover COVID-19 vaccine mandates and stop the federal government from making similar mandates in the future.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act was made in 2006 to set up a nationwide plan for health preparedness and response at the federal level. It was given more time to run in 2013 and 2019; it will end at the end of September. Since the pandemic began three years ago, this is the first time that the law has been changed. But Democrats and Republicans don't agree on everything. For example, Democrats don't like that there are no measures to deal with drug shortages across the country. Because of this, the bill may need the backing of the House Freedom Caucus to pass.
18 other people have signed on to the letter from these Republican lawmakers. Their demands are meant to protect Americans' rights, make it easier for Congress to keep an eye on the public health system, and make sure someone is held responsible for what they see as a failed COVID-19 reaction. The letter comes when lawmakers are on a six-week break, but they said they would still work from home. But it's still not clear if they'll meet in person to work on these problems. The House was only able to pass one of the 12 spending bills that had to be passed before they left town. This means that when they get back, they have a short time to pass the budget or the government will shut down.