Republican bill takes aim at ‘political’ health agency reports and policies
Rep. Bob Good is taking aim at what he calls politically charged and redundant reports coming out of regulatory health agencies.
The first-term Virginia Republican dropped a bill Friday that would audit and review such reports in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration.
“It's time that these agencies are audited after decades of unchecked regulation,” Good said in a statement.
The bill, dubbed the Health Agency Check Up Act and first provided to the Washington Examiner, came out of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative GOP caucus in the House.
It would create a commission to review the reporting practices in the style of the Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closure process that has resulted in five rounds of military base closures. Sixteen public health, medicine, medical research, and public policy experts would make up the commission, with Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate each appointing four members.
"America's public health agencies have lost the trust of many Americans, especially as they issued inconsistent, unscientific guidance throughout the COVID pandemic," Good said in a statement, adding that the bill would “reduce the size and scope of the bureaucracy, de-politicize scientific research, and save taxpayer dollars.”
Republicans are frustrated by a number of recent reports and policies from the health agencies that they view as political, such as a paper that examined former President Donald Trump’s politicization of wearing masks, the NIH and CDC identifying racism as a threat to public health, and accepting gender identity as a scientific norm.
They are also concerned about the CDC’s slow response to the coronavirus pandemic, and recently revealed emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci made Republicans fret over how pandemic policies were set behind the scenes.
Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, co-sponsored the legislation.
“The pandemic has made it crystal clear: The CDC, NIH, and FDA have become far too politicized,” Banks said, adding that the bill would “help clean up these agencies from having too much undue partisan influence over American peoples' lives.”
Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, and Chip Roy and Ronny Jackson of Texas are also co-sponsors of the legislation.