Lankford to HHS Sec: Biden Says COVID is Not at the Southern Border While Requesting $10 Billion in COVID Funding
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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Finance Committee hearing to discuss the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Today’s witness was HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. Lankford has had several direct exchanges with Becerra in the past over Becerra’s promotion of abortion, failure to enforce conscience protections for health care providers who do not want to participate in abortions, and a host of other disagreements, including last year’s HHS budget request referring to mothers as “birthing persons.”
Lankford continues to serve as a leader in the Senate for life. Lankford also continues to stand up against the Administration’s announcement that it will lift Title 42 authority, a public health order overseen by Becerra, to expel migrants at the southern border because of COVID-19. Lankford is adamant that the Biden Administration needs a workable plan in place before this authority is lifted. Lankford continues to press that the Administration is saying COVID-19 is over at the border since they’re letting illegal border crossers into the US while our military is being forced to resign because they do not want to get a COVID vaccine and Americans are still forced to wear masks due to the ongoing COVID pandemic on planes, rideshares, busses, and trains.
On Lankford’s ongoing push to maintain Title 42 authority, a public health order, to expel migrants at the southern border, until a workable plan is submitted.
Lankford: …This has been used as an immigration policy piece. For instance, the Administration came in and changed Title 42 and said, ‘If you’re coming in with a young child, then Title 42 doesn’t apply to you anymore. There is no more pandemic for you. So there are some things that have actually worked it as an immigration policy. I think our biggest issue is at the same time, there’s a request from the Administration saying, ‘We need 10 billion more dollars because of the pandemic.’ There’s also a decision to say, ‘The pandemic’s over. The risk is over at the border.’ And there’s not even a requirement for individuals crossing the border to get a vaccine when they cross. It’s made available to them but not a requirement to be able to do that. I think that’s the biggest issue that we’re seeing from everybody.
On important updates Lankford successfully pushed for at CMS about lowering prescription drug prices to help rural pharmacies
Lankford: Your team at CMS and their work on DIR fees is something that I have pushed for a long time on this. I am pleased to be able to see that there is actual work going on with CMS and the DIR fees. That’s a very big issue for rural pharmacies. Continue to be able to do the work. There are a lot of people that are counting on access to rural pharmacies and other pharmacies based on that work. Just don’t allow entities out there to be able to water everything down with what actually needs to be done. Keep going all the way through.