Greene’s measure likely won’t be taken up by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and if so, has a long shot of passing. It would “prevent any business engaged in interstate commerce from discriminating against a person based on their COVID-19 vaccine status,” cut off federal funding for a vaccine mandate on employees, a vaccine mandate for students attending schools, and mandates on organizations or sport—or “any person who expresses religious objection,” according to a press release from her office.
It would also prohibit the government from requiring a CCP virus vaccine to get a U.S. passport and “prevent Airline companies from denying someone from flying based on their COVID-19 vaccination status,” as well as “create the ability to sue if a person has been discriminated against on the basis of their vaccination status or mask compliance,” her office wrote.
The idea of such a passport has been publicly floated by large corporations while anonymous reports this week suggested that the Biden administration was working on such a proposal. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in responding to those reports, said the administration instead will “provide guidance” on the effort to develop vaccine passports or similar systems.
“There is currently an interagency process that is looking at many of the questions around vaccine verification, and that issue will touch many agencies, as verification is an issue that will potentially touch many areas of society. That’s guidance we’ll provide. A determination or development of vaccine passport or whatever you want to call it will be driven by the private sector. Ours will more be focused on guidelines that can be used as a basis and there are a couple of key principles that we are working from,” she said.
Meanwhile, New York state has proposed its own “Excelsior Pass” that would be used in large-scale venues such as Madison Square Garden. The plan also has been criticized by civil liberties groups. Israel set one up in February to grant people access to gyms and hotels, Iceland now uses a passport to allow foreign travel, and Saudi Arabia has an app-based passport for people who are inoculated.
Greene also introduced legislation that would eliminate the salary of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) chief Dr. Anthony Fauci, who her office said is being paid more than $430,000 per year. The bill has virtually no chance of advancing, but it seeks “to conduct a study about the correspondence, financials, and policy memos inside the NIAID before COVID through the end of this year. This will allow us to see what Fauci and the NIAID knew, when they knew it, what they spent money on, and how the agency responded to the virus.”