Another lawmaker has introduced legislation that would overturn the COVID vaccine mandate for all federal employees.
The COVID–19 Individual Liberty Act of 2021 (H.R. 5829) was introduced by Congressman William Timmons (R-SC). The legislation would do the following:
- Nullify President Biden’s Executive Order that mandates COVID vaccines for federal employees, contractors and executive branch employees
- Prohibit any federal funds from being used to implement or enforce a vaccine mandate for both federal and non-federal workers
- Prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from requiring health care providers to implement a vaccine mandate as a condition for participation in Medicare or Medicaid programs
- Prohibit the federal government from requiring any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or natural immunity as a condition of any service or benefit (A.K.A. vaccine passports)
- Allow natural immunity as a suitable alternative to being fully vaccinated – HHS would be required to publish guidelines on the extent to which natural immunity provides protection from contracting or spreading COVID–19 in lieu of a vaccine
“I have continually said that the COVID-19 vaccine should be a decision one makes with their doctors—not politicians,” said Timmons. “Forcing someone to choose between their job and a vaccine is not a choice; it is coercion. South Carolinians need relief from mandates and forced medical requirements. My legislation, the COVID-19 Individual Liberty Act,will block these unconstitutional mandates, recognize that natural immunity is real, prevent the federal government from imposing vaccine passports, and restore individual liberty to the American people.”
Other Legislation Targeting the Vaccine Mandate
Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate to repeal the president’s Executive Order requiring that all federal employees get vaccinated. The Stop Vaccine Mandates Act (S. 2879) was introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK). He said he introduced it because the president has “excessively exceeded his power” by requiring federal employees to get the COVID vaccine.
Known as the Options Over Terminations Act (H.R. 5741), the legislation was introduced by Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA).
“Federal employees who have opted not to receive the vaccine because they have natural immunity developed after recovering from the virus do not deserve to be fired,” said Newhouse.
Vaccine Deadline Looms for All Federal Employees
Federal employees have until November 22 to be fully vaccinated under the terms of the Executive Order.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, federal agencies can begin enforcing the mandate on November 9. OPM outlined the following scheduling considerations with respect to the November 22 deadline:
- For Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, individuals should get their second shot 3 weeks (or 21 days) after the first. This means that in order for Federal employees to meet a November 22 deadline, they should receive their first vaccination no later than October 18, and their second dose no later than November 8.
- For Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, individuals should get their second shot 4 weeks (or 28 days) after their first. This means that in order for Federal employees to meet a November 22 deadline, they should receive their first vaccination dose no later than October 11, and their second dose no later than November 8.
- Because the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine only has one shot, Federal employees must get that dose by November 8, in order to meet a November 22, 2021 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
Federal employees who refuse to get the vaccine or provide proof of vaccination will be subject to progressive disciplinary action which could ultimately result in termination.