On Monday, Joe Biden signed a resolution passed by a bipartisan majority of Congress to finally end the state of national emergency due to the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, thus marking what some consider to be an official end to the pandemic.
As ABC News reports, the state of emergency was already set to expire on its own in May, barring another extension by the federal government. The resolution was passed by the House of Representatives despite nearly 200 Democrats voting against it, before then passing the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 68-23.
The Biden Administration initially voiced its opposition to the resolution after the House vote, but stopped just shy of threatening a veto; after the more bipartisan Senate vote, Biden changed his mind and privately told lawmakers that he would sign the bill.
The state of emergency gave the federal government broad authority to handle the COVID pandemic through more direct control over the nation’s economy, health care systems, and welfare systems. Some of the changes that will be implemented with the end of the national emergency include the end of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) COVID-19 mortgage forbearance program, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) bringing back the requirement of in-home visits in order to determine eligibility for caregiver assistance.
In addition to the national emergency, a separately-declared “public health emergency” is set to expire on May 11th. The public health emergency had largely been used to crack down on mass illegal immigration, particularly through the federal rule known as Title 42. Biden had controversially announced his decision to end the enforcement of Title 42 last year, despite the policy’s overwhelming success in curbing mass immigration during the presidency of Donald Trump.