Washington, D.C. – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 8, 2023
Contact: Edie Guy, Edie.Guy@mail.house.gov
BREAKING: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna just introduced the Terminate CDC Overreach Act to address the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) abusive overreach throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The economic and social upheaval the CDC caused by abusing their authority is nothing short of unprecedented,” Rep. Luna stated. “One too many American families know the personal harm this has caused to their children, jobs, and pocketbooks. It’s high time we check the CDC’s power so that it is NEVER allowed to exploit a crisis like this again.”
Throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC continually abused its scope under federal law to expand its authority and exploit a crisis, the effects of which we are still experiencing today. What was supposed to be a 14-day shutdown to “stop the spread” turned into three years of forcing Americans out of their jobs, preventing children from attending school, higher rates of learning disabilities and mental health diagnoses, and crippling the United States economy.
The Terminate CDC Overreach Act would limit the authority that the CDC can take in the event of an emergency; specifically, the authority the CDC cited when it extended the eviction moratorium (42 USC 264). A blatant extension of federal overreach, the eviction moratorium – which should be regulated by state and local governments – allowed renters to reside in their homes without paying rent. This action was unprecedented, especially in its use of a public health authority, and demonstrated that there is nothing that federal bureaucrats won’t try to control if given the chance.
Under the framework of Rep. Luna’s bill, the CDC would still be able to act in areas of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics, but would have to tailor policies to individual people, rather than industries or activities (i.e., schools). In addition, it also provides Congress with greater oversight and the ability to overturn the CDC’s action by an expedited joint resolution at any time once the CDC’s decision takes effect.
For example, if a communicable disease was found in a school, the CDC would only have the authority to close that school if it can prove that the person with a confirmed communicable disease was in the school and likely exposed other students and staff. The CDC must also publish a science brief to support its decision to close the school. This is different from the COVID-19 era, when the CDC was able to close all schools across the country with no verifiable proof that the communicable disease (COVID) was being spread within schools.
The Act would limit the CDC’s authority by:
– Amending existing law to ensure that the communicable/pre-communicable framework is limited to people who are proven to be infected or shown to be very likely infected through clinical tests, contact tracing, and clinical presentation. This is different than the general “may be infected” paradigm that was used during COVID.
– Requiring the CDC to “show the science” by updating science briefs regularly and publishing them with each recommendation, guidance, or policy that the agency used.
– Including an expedited consideration of a joint resolution of disapproval for the CDC’s emergency measures, giving Congress the ultimate say on CDC decisions that have significant impact on the economy and industries across the country.
To read more about the bill, click here.
Congresswoman Luna was joined by Reps. Eli Crane (AZ-2) and Mary Miller (IL-15).