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Who should be blamed for a vaccine mandate — the governing authority (like a governor or mayor) requiring the mandate, or the businesses and organizations that submit to the governing authority’s decree?
This is the crucial question currently dividing congressional Republicans, who at the moment are arguing over whether or not they should boycott a private club for Republicans that’s been accused of bending the knee to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat.
The National Republican Club of Capitol Hill, commonly known as the Capitol Hill Club, has announced on its website that “proof of vaccination against COVID-19” will be “required upon entry” starting Jan. 15th, “per Mayor’s Order 2021-148.”
Signed into law late last month, the order by Bowser established a “vaccination entry requirement” for certain “establishments and facilities,” including establishments such as the Capitol Hill Club.
Note that the club already boasts a mask mandate as well:
According to reporting by The Hill, the implementation of a vaccine mandate in particular has displeased some Republicans.
“Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), a member of the … Freedom Caucus, stood up in a closed-door GOP Conference meeting Tuesday and told colleagues they should refuse to patronize the 70-year-old Capitol Hill Club, eliciting support from some conservatives in the room,” the outlet reported Tuesday, citing sources in the meeting.
But not every Republican shared Good’s enthusiasm for a boycott.
“Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) … argued that it [the club] was simply following the city’s health regulations and should not be blamed,” according to The Hill.
“For some, there’s a mentality of ‘burn the house down.’ The majority of the conference was in the camp of you need to protect the club,” a GOP member who observed the heated debate told the outlet.
Another GOP member added that perhaps Good should join the National Democratic Club, which is the Democrat equivalent of the Capitol Hill Club.
“He can always just drop his membership. I hear the Democratic Club is hurting for new members and worried about how they will keep their doors open next January,” the GOP member said.
The Democratic Club appears to boast more rules than its counterpart, though as of Wednesday morning, a vaccine rule had not yet been announced:
On a side note, the Democratic Club appears to only offer lunch and dinner, whereas the GOP club offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just sayin’ …
Dovetailing back to the beef among Republicans, Good fired back at his critics in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon to The Hill.
“My constituents want to know that I am fighting vaccine mandates at every level. In an attempt to paint me in a bad light with the political elites and donor class in Washington, the anonymous leaker inadvertently revealed that some DC insiders are encouraging compliance with mandates, while they claim to their constituents back home that they are here in DC fighting for healthcare freedom,” the statement reads.
“While I don’t leak to the press what my colleagues say in these closed-door Republican meetings, I’m not afraid to say publicly that we should stand up and say ‘no’ to Mayor Bowser’s vaccine passports, refuses to comply, and also remind her that Congress ultimately must approve the DC budget. I must also say that I admire the courage of my fellow members who provide anonymous quotes to the press.”
But who really is to blame? Is it Bowser, who’s using her power to cram a vaccine mandate down the throats of organizations such as the Capitol Hill Club? Or is the Capitol Hill Club, which some would argue is merely trying to avoid facing whatever penalties the mayor has in mind for those who refuse to comply?
What’s known is that those Republicans who choose to join the boycott effort may find themselves in quite the pickle come lunch and dinner time.
“[F]or some die-hard GOP lawmakers who refuse to spend their money in D.C. restaurants and bars — and send their tax dollars to the D.C. government run by Bowser — the private club is the only place they will eat and drink when they are in Washington,” The Hill notes.
What’s also known is that, despite this small beef, congressional Republicans are certainly united in their efforts to persuade Bowser to relent.
“Earlier this week, nearly 20 House Republicans sent a letter pressing Bowser to reverse course on the mandate requiring people to show proof of their vaccination before entering bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses,” according to The Hill.
“The spread of the omicron variant among the vaccinated population indicates the Order will be ineffective at stopping viral spread while imposing significant costs to the District, its residents, its economy, and Americans across the nation who wish to visit their capital,” the Republicans wrote.
We can’t allow Democrats to lock Americans out of their capital city.https://t.co/6KCYy1LEsn
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) January 10, 2022
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