President Biden announced a far-reaching vaccine mandate that will impact an estimated 80 million Americans in the public and private sector, but members of Congress and their staff will reportedly be exempt from the new reform.
The extensive mandate will affect both federal workers and federal contractors within the executive branch, which tally up to nearly 18 million Americans. “If you want to do business with the federal government, get your workforce vaccinated,” Biden remarked Thursday.
\Shockingly, the expansive executive order will also apply to private companies with over 100 employees, who will be required to get vaxxed or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, accounting for the other 62 million people in the American workforce that will be affected.
“This isn’t about freedom, or personal choice, it’s about protecting those people around you, and the people you love,” Biden stated. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”
Seemingly the only subset of federal employees that will be exempt from the sweeping mandate are employees of the legislative branch, which includes members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
According to the New York Times, the executive order “will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed services — a work force that numbers more than four million — but not to those who work for Congress or the federal court system, according to White House officials.”
Members of Congress, nearly 31,000 congressional staffers, and an additional 30,000 federal court system workers won’t be required to submit to the mandate because Biden is implementing it through an executive order, which does not impact employees of the legislative branch.
According to the Congressional Institute, “the president cannot impose a vaccine mandate on Congress via executive order or in an agency or department regulation.”
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about the implementation of a vaccine mandate for Congress, she replied, “We are guided and have to be guided by the guidance of the Capitol Physician. He has made those contentions. And when weighing the equities takes us to a different place, I’m sure he will tell us.”
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