House GOP Demands Federal Agency Drop COVID Rules

House Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL), have demanded that the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) end the requirement for guests to detail their COVID-19 vaccination status and any symptoms of illness.

President Joe Biden officially ended the COVID-19 national emergency in April by signing bipartisan legislation. In May, he issued an executive order that ended COVID vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors. This order covered the Department of Commerce, which houses the NOAA — and thus the department now does not require “onsite contractor employees and visitors to provide information about their vaccination status.”

In a letter, 42 House Republicans revealed that the NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) is attempting to circumvent this matter by requiring “individuals to fill out a Visitor Clearance form that asks about individuals’ vaccination status, and physical symptoms.”

“The OMAO requirements are inconsistent with the federal government’s posture regarding coronavirus management,” the Republican lawmakers noted.

The Biden administration has been known for placing strong restrictions on unvaccinated individuals even after the COVID pandemic was widely recognized to be over. As federal employees began returning to their offices when COVID receded, intensive testing and vaccination requirements were implemented by the administration. Initially, the White House required unvaccinated federal workers in offices to wear masks, isolate from other employees and take COVID tests more often. That requirement was later eliminated by Biden.

The Biden administration even tried to implement a COVID vaccine mandate on private businesses through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but it was struck down by the Supreme Court.

In a statement to the Daily Caller, Franklin blasted the Biden administration for harassing Americans with their “unconstitutional COVID mandates” long after the end of the pandemic — specifically calling out NOAA for their “overreach.”

“Months after Biden acknowledged the end of the pandemic and both the White House and Congress acted to end the COVID emergencies, his administration still harasses Americans with unconstitutional COVID mandates,” the statement read. “It’s clear to me that Washington liberals who viewed the pandemic as cover to grow the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy have slow rolled returning to normal after the pandemic. Americans are operating business as usual—they expect their government to as well. It’s time the Department of Commerce and NOAA end this overreach, and I thank my colleagues who joined me to demand accountability for this unacceptable abuse of power.”