Here’s how U.S. House members voted on major issues during the legislative week of Feb. 6-17.

The floor of the U.S. House of Representatives



Voting 227 for and 201 against, the House on Feb. 8, 2023, passed a bill (HR 185) that would immediately terminate a Centers for Disease Prevention and Control requirement that airline travelers from abroad show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the United States. The bill would prevent any similar mandates in the future. The Biden administration plans to lift national COVID emergency declarations on May 11 while retaining the foreign travelers’ vaccine requirement.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Nicholas Langworthy, R-N.Y., said: ’’Life has returned to normal across the country. Yet despite the world moving on from the pandemic, this administration persists in retaining an unnecessary vaccination requirement for those visiting the United States….It is time that we acknowledge that these vaccine mandates do not definitively stop the spread of COVID. It is time for Congress to act where this administration refuses and finally end this mandate.”

Opponent Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said: “This is just the latest bill inspired by anti-vax conspiracy theories that has been rushed to the floor….It is dangerous to repeatedly mislead the public about the efficacy of these vaccines that are proven to save lives. This bill increases the risk of spreading new variants, just as hospitals and public health infrastructure are trying to rebuild. Once again, an extremist fringe is putting politics over science and undermining public health experts….”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Democratic-led Senate, where it was likely to fail.


Voting 208 for and 220 against, the House on Feb. 8, 2023, defeated a Democratic motion that sought to prevent HR 185 (above) from becoming law until after the Department of Health and Human Services certifies it would not contribute to U.S. healthcare staffing shortages, diminish bed capacity in American hospitals or otherwise reduce national healthcare resources.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Kim Schrier, D-Wash., a medical doctor, said: “This bill is a political stunt. It has no basis in science. It fails to recognize the reality that our hospitals are facing right now and that any one of us might face if a loved one needs a hospital bed and that bed is not available. Please leave public health decisions to public health professionals.”

Opponent Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, said in response: “I am a doctor, and unlike my colleague on the other side of the aisle, I am also a former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, so I am speaking for public health. The vast majority of Americans are either vaccinated or have natural immunity. There is no recognition of natural immunity by continuing the COVID–19 vaccine mandate for travelers into the United States.”

A yes vote was to adopt the Democratic motion.


Voting 210 for and 220 against, the House on Feb. 8, 2023, refused to stipulate that no provisions of HR 185 (above) would limit the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to impose vaccination requirements against diseases other than COVID-19 on foreigners seeking to enter the United States by air travel. The CDC now has such requirements in place and its authority to do so is facing court challenges.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said: “All we are saying is the CDC should continue to have the authority…to demand that visitors to the United States show proof of vaccination for diseases other than COVID. It is not complicated. It is not a radical idea. We already require multiple vaccines for people who are immigrating or seeking refuge in this country for diseases like smallpox, polio, measles and mumps. Why? Because they work.”

Opponent Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said: “It has not been established that the CDC has this authority….The intent of this bill is to eliminate a presidential order about a COVID vaccine for international travelers. There is no need for us…to try and give the CDC additional authority. In fact, the bill is quiet on whether they have this authority, and that is a subject that is being debated in the courts right now.”

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


The House on Feb. 8, 2023, voted, 426 for and eight against, to stipulate that no provisions of HR 185 (above) affect a Centers for Disease Prevention and Control requirement that aircraft travelers from the People’s Republic of China receive a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before flying to or entering the United States.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter John Rose, R-Tenn., said: “Because we can’t trust the Chinese government to be transparent and honest about the scope of their current COVID crisis, we must take appropriate precautions. Continuing to test travelers from China is essential to our national safety.”

No member spoke against the amendment.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


Voting 260 for and 182 against, the House on Feb. 9, 2023, adopted a resolution of disapproval (HJ Res 24) that would cancel a 2022 District of Columbia law that qualifies non-citizens including undocumented immigrants to vote in the local elections if they have lived in D.C. for at least 30 days. Under the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act, the federal territory has limited authority to run its own affairs but must receive congressional approval of laws passed by the city council such as this one.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Nicholas Langworthy, R-N.Y., said the D.C. law violates “the core idea of what it means to be a citizen of this great country. America is not a geographic expression where the concept of citizenship and sovereignty is meaningless or relative. We are a sovereign nation and a sovereign people. It is Congress’ right and responsibility to step in and right a wrong that threatens one of the pillars of our democracy — the right of citizens to vote.”

Opponent Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said “there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution…that prohibits noncitizens from voting in local, state or federal elections….Currently, there are at least 15 municipalities that permit noncitizens to vote in local elections. They do so in recognition of the fact that noncitizens, who are allowed to vote under such local laws, pay a variety of state, local, and federal taxes, and they have an inherent interest in helping to shape policies in the communities where they live.”

A yes vote was to send the measure to the Senate, where its prospects were uncertain.