News & Politics

Texas Congressman Wants to Prevent DC From Instituting a Vaccine Mandate

Pat Fallon's bill would prohibit the District from doing something it has shown no appetite for.

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A new bill from US Representative Pat Fallon of Texas would prohibit the District of Columbia from instituting a vaccine mandate. The legislation, cosponsored by Fallon’s fellow Texas GOP Congressman Louie Gohmert, says DC “may not require an individual to present documentation certifying the individual’s COVID–19 vaccination as a condition of entering any building, facility, or other venue, including an outdoor venue, in the District of Columbia.”

DC’s actual leadership has shown little appetite for such a mandate: Mayor Muriel Bowser—who, unlike Fallon, was elected by DC voters—has expressed skepticism toward such a move, and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio told Washingtonian, “I can just tell you that’s not something we’re considering at this moment.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting member of Congress who represents more constituents than either of the House representatives for Vermont and Wyoming, says she’ll fight the bill: “Congressman Fallon’s bill is wrong on two counts: D.C. hasn’t enacted any such requirement, and if D.C. did, it wouldn’t be Congressman Fallon’s business because it would be a local matter,” Norton says in a press release.

H.R. 5009 is not Fallon’s first attempt to impose his political beliefs on other Americans: In January he was among 147 Republicans who voted against certifying President Biden’s victory over former President Trump.

In February, as he recovered from Covid, Fallon encouraged his constituents to get vaccinated.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.