This week in Washington: Supreme Court Rules on Biden Administration Vaccine Mandates


House Democrats Introduce Bill to Increase Access to At-Home COVID-19 Tests

On Jan. 12, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Joe Morelle (D-NY) and Kaiali’i Kahele (D-HI) introduced the Free At-Home Tests for All Act. The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to purchase enough rapid COVID-19 tests to give two tests a week to every U.S. resident, free of charge.

The bill text can be found here.


Senate HELP Committee Advances Nomination of Robert Califf for FDA Commissioner

On Jan. 13, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to advance Robert Califf’s nomination for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner with a vote of 13-8. Two Democrats, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), opposed the nomination along with six Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) did not vote. Califf’s nomination will now go before the full Senate for a vote.

Sen. Sanders Introduces Bill to Provide N95 Masks to Everyone in the U.S.  

On Jan. 12, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Masks for All Act, which would provide three N95 respirator masks to every person in the U.S. The bill, which was first introduced in 2020 and developed in consultation with former COVID-19 Adviser Andy Slavitt, has 15 cosponsors. The House version of the bill is led by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), with 30 additional cosponsors.

The bill text can be found here.

Sens. Cardin and Collins Introduce Bill to Extend Shelf Life of Some Prescription Drugs

On Jan. 12, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Drug Shortages Shelf Life Extension Act. The bill would update the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance regarding the shelf life of prescription drugs that are in scarce supply. In addition, the bill would require the FDA to submit a report to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Energy and Commerce Committees with information regarding requests from the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) to change prescription drug labels.

The bill text can be found here.

Sens. Luján, Collins and Casey Introduce Bill That Aims to Improve Behavioral Health Services Following Disasters and Emergencies

On Jan. 11, Sens. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Securing Uninterrupted Pandemic Preparation of Resources and Therapies (SUPPORT) Act. The SUPPORT Act aims to improve preparedness for the behavioral health needs that follow disasters, public health emergencies and other emergency events. The bill would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide access to mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment in response to public health emergencies and would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate SAMSHA’s programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill text can be found here.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.