Congressman Cleaver Leads Call to Require Vaccination or Regular Testing For Members of Congress, Capitol Employees

Aug 4, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – This week, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) led a coalition of 19 members of the House of Representatives calling on the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress, Rear Admiral Dr. Brian P. Monahan, to consider a vaccine requirement for Members of Congress and employees within the Capitol complex. Citing the safety of the vaccines, the elevated risk to vulnerable staffers, and the danger of spreading a deadly virus to districts across the country, the lawmakers are asking Dr. Monahan to require Members and staff of the U.S. Capitol Complex to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or adhere to twice-per-week testing for the virus.

“We write to you today to express our belief that the U.S. Congress should be considering a vaccine requirement for Members and staff of the U.S. Capitol complex or, at minimum, twice per week testing for those who are unable to verify positive vaccination,” the lawmakers wrote.

“We know that your recommendations regarding the health and safety of the U.S. Capitol are free from partisan calculations and grounded in science, which is why we ask you to follow the science and require vaccination. The unfortunate politicization of COVID-19 and our life-saving vaccines has already caused our nation immeasurable loss and incalculable pain. To forego the common-sense decision to require vaccination or frequent testing in the halls of Congress due to partisan pressure would call into question the objectivity of how we make health and safety decisions for this institution—and risk Members bringing a deadly virus back to their district,” the lawmakers continued.

The lawmakers’ request comes amid a surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which has caused a significant uptick in cases and hospitalizations in nearly every state in America over the past month. The request also follows President Biden’s announcement last week that federal workers would be required to get vaccinated or adhere to regular testing—an action that has been taken by several state and local governments, businesses, universities, and other entities.

The letter was signed by Representatives David Price (NC-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Sean Casten (IL-06), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), John Larson (CT-01), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Bill Foster (IL-11), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), David Cicilline (RI-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Al Green (TX-09), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Donald Beyer Jr. (VA-08), and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP).

You can find the official letter from lawmakers here.


Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.