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Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill to Accelerate Senate Scrutiny and Approval of New CDC Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a bill to move up the date by which the position of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) becomes a Senate-approved position. Currently, the CDC Director is directly appointed by the president without Senate confirmation, but the position is scheduled to become a Senate-confirmed position starting in January 2025. Sen. Cruz’s bill, the CDC Accountability Act, would make this position Senate confirmable immediately upon enactment of the bill, allowing Senators the opportunity to properly vet and examine the next CDC Director. 

About the bill, Sen. Cruz said, “As we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic, public health officials have an incredible amount of power over the lives of Texans and Americans. Mandy Cohen was a driving force behind lockdowns and forced masking in North Carolina. Taking advantage of a pandemic to push government control over our daily lives shouldn’t be rewarded with a promotion. Texas deserves a say in who leads national healthcare conversations, and my bill would simply speed the process that Congress has already put in place, by giving the Senate a say in this important decision now instead of 2025.”

Sens. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Mike Braun (R-Indiana) joined as co-sponsors.

Sen. Schmitt said, “The Administrative State has gone unchecked for too long, and unelected bureaucrats have far too much power over the lives of Americans - the CDC is the epitome of that unchecked power. The Senate should absolutely be required to vote on any nominee for CDC director, and bringing that power back to the Article I branch, the peoples’ branch, is paramount. We need deep structural reform and this bill contributes to that reform. I’m pleased to partner with Senator Cruz on this bill.”

Sen. Braun said, “The COVID pandemic vastly expanded the powers of the CDC director over our lives, from controlling when our kids went back to school to whether or not you had to pay your rent. Ideally this position should not have that much power, but in the meantime this incredibly powerful bureaucratic position should be confirmed by the people’s representatives in the Senate.” 


President Biden plans to appoint former North Carolina healthcare secretary Mandy Cohen to serve as CDC director. Sen. Cruz and members of the North Carolina congressional delegation wrote a letter earlier this month labeling Cohen “unfit for the position” due to her role in shutting down North Carolina during the Covid-19 pandemic, and forcing indoor masking of schoolchildren.

Sen. Cruz has led the fight against government overreach due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • In 2020, when 1.4 million Texans lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sen. Cruz fought for true economic recovery, introducing comprehensive legislation to restart the economy, get Americans back to work, and put our kids back in school.
  • He led the fight against unlawful Covid-19 mandates by introducing the first and most sweeping bill to prohibit federal vaccine mandates, tracking persons based on vaccination status and denying essential liberties based on vaccine status. In addition, his proposal would provide all employees with protections against employment-based vaccine mandates by extending current civil rights protections.
  • During the pandemic, Sen Cruz led the fight for religious exemptions to the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

·         Sen. Cruz has led his colleagues on amicus briefs against vaccine mandates on Navy SEALs and federal employees.

·         Sen. Cruz’s legislative language  to repeal the Department of Defense’s vaccine mandate was included in the FY23 NDAA.

  • Sen. Cruz previously sponsored Sen. Roger Marshall’s (R-Kansas) NDAA amendment to protect service members who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Sen. Cruz previously offered the vaccine exemption and reporting requirements as amendments to the FY2022 NDAA.
  • Sen. Cruz is fighting for his AMERICANS Act, which would reinstate servicemen and women who had been fired over the military’s vaccine mandate, if they so choose.
  • Sen. Cruz supported legislation to stop President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees under the Congressional Review Act, introduced the Parental Rights Protection Act to prohibit the federal government and any entity that receives federal funding from requiring Covid-19 vaccines for minors, and introduced legislation to end the Biden administration’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask mandate for all Americans, regardless of vaccination status.

·         Sen. Cruz has long been a champion of protecting students from ineffective and unfair Covid-19 vaccine mandates. He most recently sponsored a bill to combat the implementation of a racist coronavirus vaccination mandate in D.C. schools.

·         Sen. Cruz worked to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the bill here.