House passes bill to end COVID-19 vaccine requirement for foreign air travelers
The decision to end one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place came from a vote that was 227 to 201, with no Republicans voting against the will
February 8, 2023 8:02pm
Updated: February 9, 2023 3:48pm
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) rule requiring foreign travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States.
The decision to end one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place came from a vote that was 227 to 201, with no Republicans voting against the bill. Seven Democrats voted to end the rule.
Last June, the Biden administration stopped requiring people arriving in the United States by air to present a negative COVID-19 test. However, the vaccination requirements for foreign visitors who are not citizens or permanent residents remained in place.
On Tuesday, the White House said it opposed the bill, claiming that the vaccine requirement “allowed loved ones across the globe to reunite while reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the burdens it places on the health care system in the United States."
The CDC also claims that vaccines continue to be the most effective way to fight against the coronavirus and recommends that air travelers be vaccinated.
It is unclear if the Senate will take up the bill.
The measure to rescind the vaccine requirement was introduced by Republican Representative Thomas Massie.
"You want a list of countries that don’t have this mandate? Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Germany, France, Ukraine," Massie said. "Dictatorships have already gotten rid of this vaccination mandate. Russia, Syria, China, and Cuba even doesn’t have this draconian, xenophobic measure at the border."