In Lansing and Washington, lawmakers move past COVID concern

A COVID-positive lawmaker votes in Lansing, as the U.S. House votes to terminate COVID emergency in Washington

In the two capital cities that matter to Michigan — Lansing and Washington, D.C. — lawmakers in both parties have moved past their COVID concern.

If you were looking for a sign that life was back to normal, consider the case of State Rep. Natelie Price, D-Berkley.

On Jan. 26, Price cast a vote for Senate Bill 7, Lansing’s $946 million giveaway to corporate interests. She had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before, though, which is why she was absent from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State speech, per a Detroit News report.

“The Michigan House’s website notes the chamber follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isolation guidelines, which require individuals to stay home for five days after testing positive,” The News reports.

In a Facebook post, Price claims she stayed in her car until it was time to vote, wore a mask and kept a six-feet distance from others.

Maybe that’s true. But even if it is, that’s not the same as staying home for five days after testing positive for COVID.

Turns out Price’s yes vote was not needed, as four House Republicans — Cam Cavitt, Gregory Markkanen, Mike Mueller and Curtis VanderWall — joined the Democrats to vote yes. Four Senate Republicans — John Damoose, Mark Huizenga, Dan Lauwers, and Ed McBroom — did the same.

Whitmer signed Senate Bill 7 into law on Tuesday, Jan 31. It represents the quickest billion spent in Michigan history.

This week, the U.S. House took two votes to end the COVID-19 emergency. Michigan’s congressional delegation opposed the measure, down party lines.

The seven Democrats — Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Hillary Scholten, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Shri Thanedar, and Rashida Tlaib — voted no, and in favor of the continued national emergency.

The six Republicans — Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John James, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar, and Tim Walberg — voted yes, to terminate the national emergency, as soon as the bill is signed into law, if it is.

After 62 senators voted in November to terminate the COVID-19 emergency, President Joe Biden vetoed it.

With both chambers of Congress voting to terminate the emergency in a three-month span — albeit in two separate Congresses — Biden said this week the COVID emergency would end on May 11.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.