Republicans Sign Letter Calling To Defund COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

More than 12 House Republicans have signed a letter calling for an appropriations bill to include language restricting funds from being used in enforcing a Medicare and Medicaid-related COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“As you draft the upcoming Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2024, we request that you include language in your bill that would defund COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” the letter declares.

The letter addresses House Appropriations Committee chair Kay Granger (R-TX), Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL). It asks for the inclusion of language to prohibit funding for a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule.

The lawmakers stated that no funds from the Department of Health and Human Services or the Treasury of the U.S. are to be used in enforcing Medicare and Medicaid programs, such as the “Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination” program issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Nov. 5, 2021.

“Congress holds the power of the purse and must take every step possible to defund these tyrannical mandates once and for all,” the letter declares. “Again, we are asking that you include language that specifies that none of the funds appropriated shall be used for enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”

Some of the GOP lawmakers who signed the bill include Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Mary Miller (R-IL), Josh Brecheen (R-OK), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Andy Ogles (R-TN), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Eric Burlison (R-MO), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Daniel Webster (R-FL).

Reps. Eli Crane (R-AZ), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Troy Nehls (R-TX), and Bob Good (R-VA) also signed the letter.

In January 2023, House Republicans passed a bill ending a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare employees.

The legislation, titled the Freedom of Health Care Workers Act, passed the House in a 227-203 vote, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in passing it.

In February 2023, House Republicans passed legislation that ended the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for international travelers to the U.S.

Individuals should have a right to choose whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine instead of being forced to do so.