Members of Congress, the federal court system, and their staffers are exempt from President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Biden’s new rule requires all federal employees to be vaccinated, and forces employers with more than 100 employees to either mandate vaccination or weekly testing.
However, the mandate does not apply to the legislative or judicial branches of government, according to the White House.
It was also reported last week that more than 600,000 United States Postal Service employees would be exempt from the mandate. However, the Biden administration clarified that USPS will still be subject to the mandate since it is an employer with more than 100 employees.
“USPS is not included in the executive order requiring vaccination of Federal employees. USPS has a separate statutory scheme and is traditionally independent of federal personnel actions like this,” a Biden administration official explained, according to the New York Post.
“That said, USPS is strongly encouraged to comply”,” the official continued. “Also, [the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration] will cover USPS through the [emergency temporary standards], meaning that postal workers will be subject to the vaccination or testing policy announced today.”
In April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she would not mandate the vaccine for lawmakers out of concerns for privacy.
“So here’s the thing: We cannot require someone to be vaccinated–that’s just not what we can do,” she said at the time.
“It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t,” she continued. “I can’t go to the Capitol physician and say, ‘Give me the names of people who aren’t vaccinated so I can go encourage them to,’ or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated.”
Several states have already vowed to sue the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate, slamming it as an abuse of power.
The governors who’ve expressed opposition include those from Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with whom Biden has sparred over mask mandates and vaccine passports, said Florida would be one of several states fighting back.
“When you have a president like Biden issuing unconstitutional edicts against the American people, we have a responsibility to stand up for the Constitution and to fight back, and we are doing that in the state of Florida,” he said. “This is a president who has acknowledged in the past he does not have the authority to force this on anybody, and this order would result potentially in millions of Americans losing their jobs.”