Biden’s potential first veto
House Republicans may soon force President Biden to issue his first veto — over a measure to terminate the national emergency declaration for COVID.
Why it matters: The emergency declaration has served as the basis for the administration's student loan forgiveness plan and also allows for increased flexibilities for health insurance and Medicaid.
What we're hearing: Once they officially retake the House majority, Republicans plan to hold a vote on a joint resolution that would rescind the emergency declaration, senior GOP aides said.
- The resolution first passed the Senate in March, along party lines. When it came up again last month, it passed 61-37, with support from 12 Democrats.
By the numbers: This type of resolution doesn't need 60 votes in the Senate. Just two Senate Democrats would have to stick by their votes for it to pass now.
- "[The pandemic] is over. I'm going to keep voting until we get it over," Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told Axios. "We should get back to normal lives."
- "While COVID-19 is no longer the disruptive threat that it once was and we have made tremendous progress in combating the virus, the virus continues to pose a risk to the American people and our health care system," the statement argued.
- Reached for comment this week, the White House referred back to the OMB statement.
- Congress would almost surely not be able to override Biden's veto.
What we're watching: The resolution is part of a broader tug-of-war between Congress and the executive branch over how sweeping a president’s emergency executive powers should be.
- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has tried to rein in executive power in other ways in addition to voting for this resolution, told Axios: “I worry when declarations persist longer than is absolutely necessary. It becomes harder to gain public legitimacy for declarations in the future.”