Sullivan, Lee & Tuberville Introduce Bill Requiring Senate Vote for CDC Director

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) yesterday introduced the Restoring Trust in Public Health Act, which would require that nominees for director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) be confirmed by the United States Senate. Recently, the CDC has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans through its COVID-19 guidelines and eviction moratorium, all under directors who have not been confirmed by the Senate.

“President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, CDC Director Walensky, White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki, and Dr. Anthony Fauci have each explicitly stated the federal government could not, or would not, be issuing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Yet, on Friday, the Biden administration abruptly changed its tune, issuing a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate impacting millions of Americans,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Similarly, the Biden administration claimed for weeks it did not have the legal authority to extend a nationwide CDC-directed eviction moratorium. Yet, again, the President and the CDC tried to charge ahead in defiance of the law, only to be stopped by the Supreme Court. Finally, after the CDC began onerously regulating the entire cruise ship industry, I encountered weeks of mixed messages and unresponsiveness from the CDC director that nearly wiped out another tourism season in Alaska that thousands of hard-working Alaskans rely on. It’s time for Congress to restore greater control and oversight over the unelected officials, most especially the CDC director, who wield such enormous power over our day-to-day lives.” 

“The CDC has exerted astonishing power over the everyday lives of millions of Americans without any say from Congress,” Sen. Lee said. “This bill will ensure that, through the confirmation process, future directors are qualified, honest, and reasonable. Few agencies need such tempered, rational leadership as much as the CDC.” 

“The CDC Director is arguably the most powerful position at HHS that is not subject to Senate confirmation,” Sen. Tuberville said. “In the past year and a half during a global pandemic, CDC-issued guidance has impacted every American – without input from Congress. If an individual is going to have such vast and seemingly unchecked power, the CDC Director should be a Senate-confirmed role to ensure the American people get a say in the process and that the individual selected has the temperament and qualifications necessary.” 

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) have also signed on as cosponsors. 

The full text of the bill can be read here. A one-pager of the bill is available here

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