House Republicans have proposed a new bill to oppose the federal government from requiring a vaccine passport. The suggested vaccine passports would require Americans to provide proof of taking a COVID-19 vaccine to conduct certain businesses, travel or attend certain public events like concerts.
“I am profoundly disturbed that the Biden Administration would even consider imposing vaccine passports on the American people,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said in a statement last Thursday. “My private healthcare decisions—and yours—are nobody else’s business. Vaccine passports will not help our nation recover from COVID-19; instead, they will simply impose more Big Brother surveillance on our society.”
The proposed GOP House bill has 18 co-sponsors. They include Reps. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Greg Steube of Florida, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Ben Cline of Virginia, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Russ Fulcher of Idaho, Chip Roy of Texas, Mary Miller of Illinois, Bill Posey of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Randy Weber of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Jody Hice of Georgia.
Some states are encouraging the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports. Many Republican-led states are not. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis became the first to announce his executive action against the use of vaccine passports for businesses in the state.
Texas and Utah soon followed Florida’s lead to oppose vaccine passports through executive action. Idaho joined as the fourth state last week. Others Republican governors, like Tennessee’s Mike Lee, are pushing state level legislation against vaccine passports.
Ohio is tackling the issue from a different perspective. The state has introduced HB 248 that would allow residents to decline a COVID-19 shot or any other vaccine because of religious reasons, medical reasons or natural immunity.
The Cincinnati Enquirer notes, “The proposal would prevent anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated from facing discrimination, being denied services or forced to follow a requirement that they wear masks or other penalties financial or social from businesses, schools or government.”
In contrast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democrat-led New York is considering an app for Empire State residents to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The contrast between red and blue-led states continues to press toward an interesting tension at the national level.
The House bill faces an unlikely passing in the Democrat controlled assembly. However, the Biden administration currently states it is opposed to a federal vaccine passport.
“The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
The likely scenario will be like the earlier days of the pandemic. Conservative states will oppose government overreach, while progressive states will fight for more control over citizens. The long-term damage continues to create a nation where governors hold more influence than the past, making state elections in the years ahead a major area of emphasis needed in the fight for conservative leadership in America.