On Saturday, the first phase of Washington D.C.'s vaccine mandate for most indoor establishments went into effect, as patrons were required to show that they had received at least one vaccine, along with their ID to prove they are the vaccinated person. Saturday coverage from Antonio Olivo with The Washington Post noted that "District vaccine mandate garners mixed reactions and awkward searches for proof of doses."
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who has vocally stood against vaccine and mask mandates, is refusing to partake and has met with other members of Congress to discuss alternatives, which has thus far included patronizing nearby Northern Virginia.
I’m in. Do not comply!— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 17, 2022
I’m in, @chiproytx! I will never participate in any COVID-19 vaccine passport system. The @HouseGOP talks about opposing vaccine mandates and passports, it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. https://t.co/rUrXs5Oert— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) January 16, 2022
The congressman was as equally vocal throughout our Wednesday conversation with Townhall, including when it comes to issuing a call to his fellow Republicans who would continue to patronize D.C. establishments.
He reminded that "Republicans run on being candidates and run on being the party of freedom, liberty, limited government." He took issues with the idea that Republicans would thus go along with such a mandate.
"Yet Republicans are going to show a vax card to go into a restaurant or facility at our nation's capitol," Roy asked incredulously. "I find that to be unacceptably ironic. I will not do it," he shared, also mentioning he's gone so far as to his resign his membership from the Capitol Hill Club (CHC), a popular spot for Republican members to meet, and that he's eating in Northern Virginia. "I'm not going to do it," he emphasized.
While some may not take issue with vaccine mandates, the congressman warned of a slippery slope. "The fact is, people think these things are no big deal, and then they become the norm, and then they become acceptable. And then you train a generation of Americans to believe it is acceptable for our nation's capitol to demand you show papers to move about. I do not accept that, I will never accept that," he shared, as he once more took the opportunity to call out his Republican colleagues. "I'm sick and tired of Republicans who don't have the spine to fight it."
And he only got more firm from there. "This is simple. You either believe in freedom or you don't. Put your money where your mouth is. You go around talking about how great it was that your grandfather was, you know, dodging bullets at Normandy and how proud you are of him, and you can't freaking skip a freaking steak dinner at your fundraiser in Washington, D.C.? Give me a freaking break," he shared.
The issue of freedom isn't merely one of importance when it comes to vaccine mandates, but of hypocrisy, when it comes to Democrats supporting so-called voting rights legislation that ultimately leads to a federal takeover of elections. Roy emphasized it was "absurd" to have to show ID with proof of vaccination to patronize an establishment, but not to vote, especially since "the vast majority of Americans agree with us on that." He highlighted that "you don't need to know anything else on the Democrat bill, other than it would eliminate our ability to have voter ID at the state level," adding that there are indeed more problematic aspects along with it.
The pledge is a particularly principled point for Roy, who takes issue with terminology such as him having an "endgame," which he called "a crutch for not fighting." He went on to candidly share "I don't really care what the endgame is, my endgame is no damn way are you going to have me reach into my wallet and pull out a vax card, like literally, like just no, like go to Hell. I'm not going to go pull a freaking vax card out of my wallet, that's my endgame."
Acknowledging that there have to be plaintiffs with standing, Roy does hope there will be lawsuits against the mandate.
This is nothing new from Roy, as he freely shared that "I've called out my colleagues on a number of different things," including funding the government last month with a vaccine mandate in place, the latter which he called "absolutely appalling." He also promised he's "going to keep turning the heat up" there as well, which he hinted there will be news to come as it pertains to February's continuing resolution.
On February 15, one month after the first phase went into effect, two shots will be required for entry into places of business.