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Do Biden administration vaccine requirements apply to Congress?

Saturday, September 18, 2021
By Lisa Freedland
NO

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%.

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