Press Releases

National Capital Region Members Seek Federalized COVID-19 Vaccine Response for Government Employees

Today U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), David Trone (D-MD), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote to Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, requesting that the federal government vaccinate its employees through a separate, federal allocation.

They wrote:

“The National Capital Region is home to the largest concentration of federal employees, and these workers often qualify as essential workers. That means that Virginia, D.C., and Maryland have a disproportionate number of individuals classified as essential workers by the federal government, yet the responsibility of vaccination falls under these subfederal jurisdictions.”

“The National Capital Region wants to allocate vaccines as fast as possible to all prioritized communities. Rather than foisting federal employees onto Virginia, D.C., or Maryland’s supply of vaccines and increasing their essential worker vaccination responsibilities, the federal government should vaccinate federal employees through a separate federalized allocation to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.”

A signed copy of the letter is available here, and text follows below.

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Dear Acting Director McGettigan and Director Walensky:

We respectfully request that the federal government federalize its response to vaccinating its employees with a direct allocation. The National Capital Region is home to the largest concentration of federal employees and these workers often qualify as essential workers. That means that Virginia, D.C., and Maryland have a disproportionate number of individuals classified as essential workers by the federal government yet the responsibility of vaccination falls under these subfederal jurisdictions.   

In many cases, the federal government acknowledges when it puts an undue burden on a State or locality. For example, the PILT Program provides payments to counties and other local governments to offset tax revenues due to the presence of substantial federal land acreage within their jurisdictions or the Impact Aid Program, which was designed to assist local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property, or that have experienced increased expenditures due to the enrollment of federally connected children. Like these two programs, the federal government should recognize the disproportionate impact it is placing on our community’s vaccine programs.

The National Capital Region wants to allocate vaccines as fast as possible to all prioritized communities. Rather than foisting federal employees into Virginia, D.C., or Maryland’s supply of vaccines and increasing their essential worker vaccination responsibilities, the federal government should vaccinate federal employees through a separate federalized allocation to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

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