Washington Watch

Congress votes to declassify origins of COVID

Unanimous vote includes all Michigan lawmakers

Not a single member of either chamber of Congress voted against Senate Bill 619, the COVID-19 Origins Act of 2023.

The U.S. Senate passed the bill with unanimous consent March 1. The U.S. House passed the bill 419-0 March 10, with 16 members not voting. The legislation will now head to President Joe Biden’s desk.

According to the bill, every voting member of Congress consented to this:

It is the sense of Congress that ... there is reason to believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In between the Senate and House votes, the U.S. House approved another bill, House Resolution 199. That bill also required declassification of intelligence about COVID’s origins, but it did not mention the Wuhan lab. Michigan’s congressional delegation voted against House Resolution 199 in a party-line vote of 7-6.

Voting no, and against declassifying the origins of COVID-19, were seven Democrats: Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Hillary Scholten, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Shri Thanedar and Rashida Tlaib.

Voting yes, and in favor of declassifying the origins of COVID-19, were six Republicans: Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John James, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg.

Seven Republicans and nine Democrats did not vote on the House version of Senate Bill 619, but every member from Michigan voted yes.

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.