Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Florida Rep. Scott Franklin, are calling on the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to stop requiring guests to detail their COVID-19 vaccination status and any symptoms of illness.
The COVID-19 national emergency ended in April after President Joe Biden signed bipartisan legislation rolling it back. An executive order he issued in May ended vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors. As a result, the Department of Commerce, which houses NOAA, does not require “onsite contractor employees and visitors to provide information about their vaccination status.”
However, the 42 House Republicans write that NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) currently “requires individuals to fill out a Visitor Clearance form that asks about individuals’ vaccination status, and physical symptoms.” (RELATED: ‘Not The Role Of The Federal Government’: Postal Workers Union With Nearly 217,000 Members Slams Biden Vaccine Mandate)
“The OMAO requirements are inconsistent with the federal government’s posture regarding coronavirus management,” they note.
Read the letter here:
When federal workers returned to their offices as COVID-19 receded, the Biden administration put in place intensive testing and vaccination requirements for employees. The White House initially required unvaccinated federal employees working in offices to wear masks, isolate and test more often. Biden later eliminated that option.
The Supreme Court ultimately blocked a Biden administration vaccine mandate targeting private businesses, but allowed the federal employee mandate to go forward.
“Months after Biden acknowledged the end of the pandemic and both the White House and Congress acted to end the COVID emergencies, his administration still harasses Americans with unconstitutional COVID mandates,” Franklin said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “It’s clear to me that Washington liberals who viewed the pandemic as cover to grow the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy have slow rolled returning to normal after the pandemic. Americans are operating business as usual—they expect their government to as well. It’s time the Department of Commerce and NOAA end this overreach, and I thank my colleagues who joined me to demand accountability for this unacceptable abuse of power.”