Biden’s federal vaccine mandate does NOT apply to Congress because it is only for the executive branch
- Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated does not extend to members of Congress, their staff or the federal courts
- The president on Thursday signed sweeping executive orders, one of which required all federal workers to be vaccinated
- Another forced companies with over 100 employees to require vaccination or ask workers to take a Covid test once a week
President Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated does not extend to members of Congress, their staff or the federal courts.
The president on Thursday signed sweeping orders, one of which required Covid-19 vaccinations for all federal workers, dropping the previous option of regular testing. Another order forced businesses with over 100 workers to get vaccinated or tested for coronavirus at least once a week.
The federal workforce mandate covers 2.1 million workers and the private business order covers over 80 million employees and it will require employers with 100 or more employees to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated.
Any business that violates the new rule will face substantial fines, up to $14,000.
He also required all workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement to get vaccinated, which will apply to 17 million healthcare workers.
But the federal workforce order only extended to the executive branch, not the legislative or judicial branches of government.
Biden last week signed two sweeping orders, one requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated and another requiring businesses with over 100 employees to require vaccines or weekly testing for Covid-19
Congress is exempt from President Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in August that once the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination had full FDA authorization, that could open the door to a vaccine requirement for Congress members and staff.
Last April, she had said Congress couldn’t impose a vaccine mandate because it was a ‘matter of privacy.’
‘We cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t,’ Pelosi, D-Calif., said.
The Pfizer vaccine gained full authorization on Aug. 23, but so far no such requirement has materialized.
In August, a group of 19 Democrats wrote to Capitol attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan asking him to consider a vaccine requirement or two Covid tests per week for every member of Congress and their staff.
There are not clear numbers on how many members of Congress and staff have not yet been vaccinated, but the figure is thought to be low.
Meanwhile, federal employees and contractors will have 75 days to get vaccinated.
The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal workers, said they would bargain over the order.
‘Workers deserve a voice in their working conditions,’ the group said in a statement. ‘Neither of these positions has changed. We expect to bargain over this change prior to implementation, and we urge everyone who is able to get vaccinated as soon as they can do so.’
And the National Federation of Federal Employees, another government workers union, said they didn’t receive advance notice of the executive order.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki last week dismissed questions about the unions not being consulted.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs already mandate vaccines for their employees. The military also has issued a vaccine mandate.