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Mr. ESTES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Restoring Normalcy in America Act.
In a little over a week, we will be 3 years past the first recorded case of COVID-19 in the United States, and over 2 years since the COVID-19 vaccine has been available, thanks to the rapid development under Operation Warp Speed.
Despite the time elapsed, President Biden and his administration continue to prolong the pandemic--promoting policies that are destroying our economy, burdening small businesses, and hurting Kansas families.
Just yesterday, the NFIB announced that their Small Business Optimism Index declined 2.1 points in December, making it the 12th consecutive month below their 49-year average.
The December jobs report was the worst of 2022 and the worst during the entirety of the Biden administration so far. With out-of-control spending in the name of COVID relief, rampant inflation has made real average hourly earnings fall 1.9 percent since last year, the 20th month in a row that inflation has outpaced wage growth following the implementation of the so-called American Rescue Plan in March of 2021.
While Washington was under total Democrat control, President Biden increased Federal spending, continued lockdown procedures for far past their effectiveness, and held the country hostage until his self-chosen vaccination rates were reached. Receiving the vaccine is a choice, a choice made with careful consideration between a person and their doctor; not an action that can be forced by the Federal Government.
When the Biden administration failed to achieve their vaccination goals, they forced through unconstitutional vaccine mandates. We are currently experiencing near historic lows of COVID hospitalizations and 41 States have ended their states of emergency.
Yet, the Biden administration has decided to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency--despite in September President Biden stating that the pandemic is over. The continuation of the public health emergency significantly strains State and Federal budgets when we are already combating inflation and rising prices.
These actions by President Biden and the administration have hurt the American people and stunted our recovery. It is long past due that Washington is accountable for persistent pandemic restrictions placed on the Kansans I represent.
The legislation I am introducing today holds the Federal Government responsible and is a step toward restoring normalcy through five objectives of research, accountability, process, access, and restoration.
The American people deserve answers from the Federal Government on the effectiveness of the forced Biden administration COVID-19 policies. My bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct research on the effectiveness of vaccines and current treatments, the rate of transmission of COVID throughout the public health emergency, and more importantly, an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
We also need accountability. Over the past several years, trillions have been allocated to combat COVID-19. To ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted, my legislation would audit the Federal agencies that received COVID-19 funds, and whatever finances can be recouped should be returned to Treasury.
Returning to our standard processes is also critical. In the early stages of the pandemic, using the Emergency Use Authorization, the EUA, was necessary to develop vaccines and treatments. Now, with years of information and time, we should return to the normal approval process.
This bill ends the use of EUAs for COVID vaccines and treatments and requires any vaccines or treatments without full FDA approval to go through the process like any other medication or vaccination.
The choice to be vaccinated is personal, and whether it be for religious or medical reasons, vaccination status should not be the cause for discrimination and access.
My bill strengthens personal freedoms by preventing businesses from prohibiting entry or refusing service based solely on COVID vaccination status.
Lastly, my legislation reverses the damage done by President Biden's destructive, unconstitutional vaccine mandates and brings restoration to the individuals harmed. Any servicemember or Federal employee fired or discharged due to failure to comply to Biden's vaccine mandate will be reinstated with their record expunged of this incident.
The Restoring Normalcy in America Act provides the American people with answers and accountability for how this administration has prolonged the COVID-19 pandemic and works to reverse some of the damaging policies that have been put in place.
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