Members of Congress, their staff, and federal court system employees are exempt from the Biden administration's new vaccine mandates, according to Newsweek.
On Thursday, Biden issued two executive orders mandating that federal workers, federal contractors, and workers for companies with more than 100 employees take the Covid-19 jab or face unemployment and fines.
While Biden's order applies to employees of the executive branch, the House and Senate are part of the separate legislative branch, and of course the courts are part of the judicial branch - so the new orders don't apply.
"Building on the President's announcement in July to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, the President has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated," reads Biden's COVID 'action plan' titled "Path Out of the Pandemic."
"The President also signed an Executive Order directing that this standard be extended to employees of contractors that do business with the federal government," the plan continues. "As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people."
The New York Times reported on Thursday that the executive order doesn't apply to those who work for Congress or the federal courts, citing White House officials.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference on April 29 that the House couldn't require members to be vaccinated. Video clips of those remarks gained renewed attention online following Biden's announcement.
"So—so here is the thing. We are—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," Pelosi said.
"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 or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated.' So we can't—we can't do that," she said. -Newsweek
On Friday, Pelosi's office reiterated to Newsweek that her April 29 remarks were "referring to the institution in which she serves," adding "She's saying she cannot force Members to be vaccinated, which is true."
How's this going to 'protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated' on Capitol Hill?
"We're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers."— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) September 10, 2021
Biden announced the Department of Labor will require employers with 100 or more employees to require shots or testing Thursday evening https://t.co/0LPOxr9bNQ pic.twitter.com/cDH7ndhdIx