House Republicans Seek To Defund COVID Vaccine Mandate

A number of Republicans in the House of Representatives signed onto a letter calling for an end of federal funding for a significant COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The Republicans seek to block further funding for coronavirus vaccine mandates regarding Medicare and Medicaid.

In total, 19 House Republicans, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), signed onto the letter to the chairs of the House Appropriations, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies committees.

The signers of the letter are seeking to have funding stripped from the November 2021 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination.”

The letter reads in part that no funding provided to the Department of Health and Human Services or through other means should be used to enforce the vaccination mandate “or any substantially similar rule.”

The letter states, “Congress holds the power of the purse and must take every step possible to defund these tyrannical mandates once and for all.”

The 2021 rule dismissed the idea that those who previously had COVID-19 were conferred with enough natural immunity to avoid the vaccine mandate.

It also stated that “CDC data indicate that vaccination rates are disproportionately low among nurses and health care aides in long term care settings,” especially among “racial and ethnic minority communities.”

This “may be exacerbating existing and emerging disparities” regarding the pandemic, according to the rule.

The latest effort comes as Republicans in Congress have investigated the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This House Republicans’ letter also comes as a federal court rejected the Biden administration’s appeal to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans overturned a lower court’s ruling regarding the White House rule. The court’s majority opinion was written by Judge Andrew Oldham, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Oldham wrote that both sides of the suit will have to “grapple with the White House’s announcement that the COVID emergency will finally end on May 11, 2023.”

Georgia is also weighing a permanent ban on COVID vaccine mandates.