Do Biden administration vaccine requirements apply to Congress?

Saturday, September 18, 2021
By Lisa Freedland

The Biden administration Sept. 9, 2021, orders instituting strict vaccine requirements for executive-branch employees and contractors don’t apply to Congress, which as an independent branch of government determines its own employment-related policies.

A 1995 law clarifies administrative processes for legislative-branch employees, including staff members and others working for legislative-branch groups such as the Capitol Police and Congressional Budget Office. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated on April 29 that, “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." She estimated about 75% of the House membership was vaccinated. On Sept. 2, USA Today reported that the number across both houses was likely higher than 81%.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Between 2020 and 2022, under close editorial supervision, Gigafact contracted a group of freelance writers and editors to test the concepts for fact briefs and provide inputs to our software development process. We call this effort Gigafact Foundry. Over the course of these two years, Gigafact Foundry writers published over 1500 fact briefs in response to claims they found online. Their important work forms the basis of Gigafact formats and editorial guidelines, and is available to the public on Gigafact.org. Readers should be aware that while there is still a lot of relevant information to be found, not all fact briefs produced by Gigafact Foundry reflect Gigafact's current methods and standards for fact briefs. If you come across any that you feel are out of date and need to be looked at with fresh eyes, don't hesitate to contact us at support@gigafact.org.