Davis Introduces Bill To Establish COVID-19 Commission, Calls For More Help for Small, Rural Towns

By Benjamin Cox on April 8, 2020 at 8:32am

13th District Congressman Rodney Davis has introduced legislation to monitor the nation’s response on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Rapid Response Act calls for the establishment of a bipartisan commission to analyze the nation’s response to the emergency and make recommendations for future preparations should another pandemic occur. The bill is allegedly modeled after the 9/11 commission bill.

The commission would be made up of 10 experts from various fields with a chair and vice chair chosen by House and Senate leadership along with 8 members of both parties from both chambers. The President of the United States will also be able to make at least one appointment to the commission. Additionally, it will create a national plan and a comprehensive playbook for other future outbreaks and medical emergencies. The commission will also analyze international influence and impact on the United States.

The act will build on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2006. House Resolution 6440 to establish the commission was introduced on Friday.

Davis also sent a letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker on Friday advocating for small town governments in the 13th District to receive a portion of the $150 billion in federal funding allocated to the state by the CARES Act. Davis says that small towns are dependent on the state to properly administer the funds because of the financial challenges they are currently facing. Davis says special attention needs to be paid to rural areas who are not eligible for a direct allocation from the federal government.