Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement following President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 remarks on December 21, 2021:
“This has been a long two years. It’s been full of anxiety and despair, especially for those who have lost someone they loved to this virus, an overdose, or a mental health emergency. Everyone knows someone in need of hope and healing. America’s frontline heroes are also tired and continue to earn my sincerest gratitude for the sacrifices they’ve made. We all want this pandemic to end. Due to funding provided by Congress in a bipartisan way, and leadership of the Trump administration, we are in a stronger place to face this new variant with treatments and safe and effective vaccines.
“This spike in COVID-19 cases because of the omicron variant is proof that President Biden spreading fear and building resentment will not stop this virus. His authoritarian actions for unconstitutional mandates will never build people’s trust. Instead of using force, he should continue to focus on increasing access to testing and urge people to talk to their doctors about the facts, including how the vaccines prevent severe illness and save lives.
“If this administration is serious about rebuilding trust it has eroded in public health, it must extend trust in the American people to make the best health care decisions for themselves. The best thing President Biden can do is provide us with clear information to assess risks and protect our families, including the overall wellbeing of our children. It’s time to lead with facts, not fear. I remain deeply troubled that today President Biden failed to apologize for the CDC Director pushing junk science to justify mask mandates on children in schools. Our children and young adults must have their lives back. They are at low risk for COVID-19 and are experiencing unprecedented mental health emergencies made worse by school shutdowns prolonged by the President’s political allies.
“Before the Biden administration makes any requests for more spending, it must first provide us with details on how it spent the funds from the Democrats’ nearly $2 trillion spending bill they rushed through Congress in February. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have also asked for details on unspent money from previous COVID-19 packages. To date, we have not received this information to ensure accountability over the administration’s pandemic response. Unlike the Democrats’ $2 trillion package that funded programs that have nothing to do with COVID-19, we want to ensure relief is targeted and used appropriately.”
Note: On February 4, 2021, Energy and Commerce Republicans sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget to request details on the amount of remaining funds unspent from the CARES Act (H.R. 748), the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133). CLICK HERE to read the letter. To date, the administration has not responded to this request.
On October 27, 2021, Energy and Commerce Republicans sent a letter to Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) requesting he schedule a hearing on the Biden Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.