Chip Roy: Republicans must 'stand up,' block budget resolution over 'unconstitutional' vax mandate
Texas Republican lawmaker raises legislative stakes, as politicians spar over Big Bird getting vaccinated and Pfizer targeting children with "superheroes" ad.
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Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is calling on Republicans in Congress to try and block a continuing resolution vote next month that would keep the government funded beyond a Dec. 3 deadline in protest of President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.
In September, the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution funding the government until the new Dec. 3 deadline.
"We need Republicans to stand up and say we're not gonna fund the government on Dec. 3 with a continuing resolution if these mandates stay in place," Roy, an outspoken critic of Biden's policies, told Fox News.
"So I'm calling on my colleagues to stand strong and not fund the government that's going to go do propaganda on our kids and put these unconstitutional mandates in place."
Roy's call comes after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a bill banning vaccine mandates for children, and after 27 states have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the mandate. Business groups, federal and private employees have also sued.
The mandate orders businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees to receive the COVID shots or undergo weekly testing by Jan. 4. Those suing argue it is unconstitutional, among other complaints.
On Saturday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the mandate pending review, ruling "the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate."
On Monday, the White House said businesses should ignore the court ruling.
"We think people should not wait," White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. "They should continue to move forward and make sure they're getting their workplace vaccinated."
Roy also criticized Pfizer for comparing children who participate in COVID drug trials to "superheroes" in an advertisement it recently released. He's also vowed to never take money from the pharmaceutical giant.
"I pledge to take no money from Pfizer," Roy tweeted. "Others should join me in that pledge. Joe Camel is blushing — because with $36 billion in sales on vaccines, Pfizer is targeting kids with 'you are a superhero for vaxxing' campaign. Enough."
Roy retweeted a post by Newsmax host and former Trump adviser Steve Cortes, which included a link to the ad. "This Pfizer video is next level propaganda," wrote Cortes. "Injecting masses of children with a brand new treatment, with no long term data on effects, for a disease that isn't a material statistical threat to them…is unscientific, unprecedented, and unethical."
"Superheroes come in all sizes," Pfizer tweeted in an introduction to its ad. "Watch as real kids express thanks to their superheroes; the 5-11 year old #Covid19 vaccine clinical trial volunteers. We're incredibly grateful to the trial participants and their families."
The commercial features young children wearing superhero costumes and is narrated by a child who says, "All of us want to be superheroes, and the most important heroes are those that help others."
The FDA approved emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shots for children ages 5 through 11, and shortly thereafter the CDC recommended that children get the shots.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, only 27% of parents of children of this age group said they were "eager to get a vaccine" for their young child; one-third said they would wait; 30% said they will not have their children participate in an experimental drug trial.
In addition to the super hero ad, Sesame Street's Big Bird announced that he got the COVID shots.
Big Bird tweeted: "I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy. Ms. @EricaRHill even said I've been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!"
Cruz criticized the move, tweeting, "Government propaganda… for your 5-year-old!"
In response to Big Bird, President Joe Biden tweeted, "Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe."