Tony Perkins / July 31, 2021

Biden’s Vaccine Push: A Mandate With Destiny

When the president announced his outrageous new COVID policy, even the liberal media was stunned.

Joe Biden isn’t a doctor, and he’s certainly not your doctor. But that hasn’t stopped the president of the United States from making every Americans’ health decisions for them. The “scare-monger in chief,” as former Civil Rights Division leader Roger Severino calls him, has decided that when it comes to COVID, the facts, the law, and the science don’t matter. You will be vaccinated, this Democratic leadership says — and surrender every constitutional right to privacy, employment, personal safety, and free speech until you do.

When the president announced his outrageous new COVID policy, that every federal employee cough up the information on whether or not they’d been vaccinated, even the liberal media was stunned. This raises “a lot of uncomfortable questions,” the AP pointed out — not the least of which is the profound abuse of Americans’ civil rights. Who’s going to pay for the testing? How will religious exemptions be accommodated? If federal employees are still working remotely, will they be required to test? What about HIPPA laws? Under this shocking new intrusion into people’s lives, Biden has decided to make it so burdensome for people to be unvaccinated that Severino thinks there’s a massive case to be made in federal court.

“No COVID-19 vaccine on the market has yet been granted full FDA approval,” Severino points out, “only Emergency Use Authorization, which means, according to statute, that Americans have ‘the option to accept or refuse administration of the product.’” Not in Joe Biden’s America. After six months of trying to eliminate mandates, Democrats want to subject workers to forced testing, forced masking, and forced health care disclosures. “That’s irrational,” Severino argues — “unless, of course, the point is not infection control, but making the lives of every last unvaccinated person as miserable as possible. Lack of consistency and evidence of pretext are killer arguments against mandated medical tests under the ADA and should be deployed immediately in lawsuits,” Severino insists. “Lots of them.”

Meanwhile, the political dominoes are already falling. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) over-the-top crackdown on maskless House members (most of whom have been vaccinated) has sparked near-mutiny on the far-side of the Capitol. To the astonishment of people on both sides, she’s threatened to arrest visitors and staff who are in the Capitol complex without face coverings. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), like so many conservatives, was livid over the announcement. “This is crazy,” he fumed on “Washington Watch.” “It’s not America when you start [acting like a totalitarian state]. And the strange thing is,” he pointed out, “if you go just to the Senate side of the Capitol, there’s no mandate! So apparently there’s some invisible barrier that falls somewhere around the rotunda that splits the House and the Senate. So on the Senate side,” Rosendale half-joked, “I guess this is not contagious and not a problem… And again, most of this boils down to just control of people’s lives and those who want to try and take control over our lives.”

And for what? There’s no science that says this is necessary. This administration has completely dismissed the idea of natural immunity from the tens of millions of Americans who’ve already had the virus, which — medical experts say, is better than the vaccine itself. In Israel, a new study showed that people who had the antibodies are seven times less likely to get infected than vaccinated individuals. “And yet our FDA, our CDC, completely ignores the claims that they’re basing on real science,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) vented on “Washington Watch”. “We have tossed the basic premise of medicine aside. And I cannot explain why… Now, they’re not providing the American people with the data to back up their other pronouncements — [like these new] guidances on masks. Why don’t we know, like India now knows, [that] 60 percent of the Indian population has antibodies for COVID. What is that level in America? We’re wealthy. We can do studies. We can estimate how close we are to herd immunity. That would be useful information for American people to have. But we don’t have it.”

And yet there’s this heavy-handed approach from the government, which is turning people against the very vaccine they’re trying to promote. As I’ve said: I’m not against the vaccine. What I’m against is people not being able to choose for themselves whether they need it based on their own health. A government mandate is absolutely the wrong way to go about this, Rosendale agrees. “This is Orwellian, it’s draconian,” and it’s eroding the public trust. “You’re getting so much differing information from the so-called ‘experts,’” he argued. One day the CDC says no masks, and the next day it completely reverses itself. It’s no wonder the general public is reluctant to take the agency seriously.

Adding to that frustration, Johnson pointed out, is the collusion between Big Tech and government that’s shutting down information Americans could be getting. “They’re silencing any kind of opposition whatsoever. They’re controlling the conversation that people are trying to have. They are supposed to be platforms… [yet they’re really just] the propaganda arm for the Left… We have this marvelous technology called the Internet, where you have this free flow of information and ideas. But doctors who were actually treating patients… they were censored on YouTube. Now, rather than allowing doctors to try different theories of the case, try[ing] different off-label medications, and then broadcast[ing] that success, everything had to filter through government agencies — that apparently are now the voice of God, basically the font of all wisdom.”

At the end of the day, this is all going to come down to an election, because as long as we have the current regime in place, we’re going to continue to get this type of authoritarian, over-reaching arm of government. “It should not be up to the president or your employer as to whether you get the vaccine,” Rosendale argued. “That’s unacceptable to me, and I think it’s going to be unacceptable to most Americans.”

Originally published here.

House Dems Drop Hyde-rogan Bomb

How many votes does it take to kill the Hyde Amendment? House Democrats discovered the answer Thursday night, when they voted along party lines, 219-208, to pass the first appropriations bill in 45 years (since 1976) without the Hyde Amendment. A procedural vote that would have restored the Hyde Amendment was defeated 217-208, also along party lines. The labor and HHS appropriations bill now heads to the Senate, where it remains to be seen whether moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin (W.Va.) will fight to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion.

The Democrats only defeated the Hyde Amendment by uniting against it. Their current majority in the U.S. House is only 220 seats, a five-seat advantage over Republicans. If a mere handful of House Democrats still favored the Hyde Amendment, they could have ensured that it was included in the final passage. Or if the irregular practice of “proxy” voting was brought to an end, Pelosi may not have had sufficient votes. But, as the vote showed, no Democrat voted to support the Hyde Amendment, and nearly every Democrat voted against it, in a bill that passed by the narrowest of margins. This episode presents a stark contrast to the last time an appropriations bill came before Congress without Hyde protections in 1993. Despite a much larger Democratic majority (258 seats), Congress actually reinserted Hyde back into the bill. Every House Democrat today is more radically pro-abortion than dozens of House Democrats 28 years ago.

Not content with stripping out the Hyde amendment, the Democrats excised other pro-life amendments as well. While the Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from funding elective abortions at home, the Helms Amendment has prevented taxpayer dollars from funding elective abortions overseas for 45 years. House Democrats excluded the Helms Amendment from the state and foreign operations appropriations bill, which the House also passed 217-212, with only three Democrats opposing. Democrats also eliminated the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which prevents taxpayers from funding coercive abortions and sterilizations, and instead boosted funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which has cooperated with China’s coercive abortion regime.

There was a time when abortion advocates insisted they wanted abortion to become “safe, legal, and rare.” No longer. Now, abortion proponents are demanding abortion be subsidized at taxpayer expense. When you subsidize something, you get more of it. In fact, the Charlotte Lozier Institute estimated the Hyde Amendment has saved more than two million babies from abortion. That means it has also saved mothers of more than two million babies from the trauma of abortion and has saved taxpayers from paying for more than two million abortions. While House Democrats have grown more radically pro-abortion, a 2021 Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans are still opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion. They may pay at the polls in 2022 for their precedent-breaking rejection of the Hyde Amendment.

Fortunately, the House Democrats have only won one minuscule skirmish in a colossal war. The federal government can funnel money to abortion in many different ways, as FRC’s Issue Analysis explains. Although Democrats in Congress may be working to fund abortion, many states are working to defund it, as you can see on our interactive pro-life maps. And Republican senators are bringing attention to the Biden administration’s attempt to promote abortion through repealing President Trump’s pro-life policies. For now, though, the next fight will be in the Senate, where radical abortion advocates will pressure senators to keep the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life protections out of the bill. Your senators need to hear from you, and you can contact them and tell them to save Hyde.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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