On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced two new Executive Orders that would affect millions of Americans, including federal employees and federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID.
Moreover, he called upon the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard to implement new vaccine mandates on workers all over the country, specifically those in companies with at least 100 employees.
But President Biden's new vaccine mandates surprisingly do not affect members of Congress.
According to ABC 10, President Biden said during a speech at the White House that one of the two executive orders on vaccine mandates would only apply to federal workers and contractors in the executive branch of the federal government. However, members of the Congress are under the House of Representatives, which falls under the legislative branch of the government.
This means that the vaccine mandates cannot apply to them or the Senate. In fact, a spokesperson at the Congressional Institute said in an email to verify that the Commander in Chief may not impose a vaccine mandate on Congress using an Executive Order.
Forbes reported that 85% of House members have been vaccinated as of late July. According to the report published in August, 19 members of Congress sent a letter to Capitol physician Brian P. Monahan, urging him to implement a vaccine mandate that would require all members of Congress to get vaccinated against COVID or subject themselves to semi-weekly tests.
However, back in April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quoted as saying, "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."
So the question now is, why is President Biden establishing vaccine mandates for all Americans except a select few in power? In the Executive Order signed on Thursday, the Democrat leader underscored the policy of his administration to "halt the spread of coronavirus disease...by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures."
President Biden cited that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has "determined" that the "best way" to stop the spread of COVID is "to be vaccinated." In another Executive Order, President Biden instructed the Department of Labor to develop "an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week."
But a Wall Street Journal editorial points out how "Employers understandably have concerns about compliance and enforcement." Such concerns revolve around costs of the mandated weekly testing of unvaccinated employees and who will pay for such costs. Ironically, the president did not establish vaccine mandates for OSHA. The editorial read,
"Mr. Biden's logic is also contradictory. In his speech he stressed that the vaccinated are safe from serious Covid. Yet he said the unvaccinated must protect the vaccinated."
The Christian Post reported that Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts was one of the many government leaders who opposed President Biden's new vaccine mandates.
He argued, "This plan isn't about public health - this is about government control and taking away personal liberties. Americans, not the federal government, are responsible for taking charge of their personal health."