Eastern Washington Legislators Urge Biden to Lift Vaccine Mandate for Border Travel

by RaeLynn Ricarte


Two U.S. Representatives from Eastern Washington have signed onto a letter that urges the Biden Administration to drop all vaccine requirements for people entering the United States from Canada.

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, and Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, say the decision to send the letter follows Canada lifting vaccine mandates for international travelers entering the country despite Biden’s refusal to follow suit.

Removal of this policy is long overdue, and we have reached a collective point where it is safe for international travel, business and personal, to once again be unhindered by outdated health mandates,” reads the Sept. 28 letter that was also sent to Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

McMorris Rodgers said border restrictions create undue hardships for towns that depend on trade with Canada for everyday goods and services.

“In northern border states, the ability to move products back and forth between the United States and Canada is of paramount necessity, so that the industries that sustain our economies will be able to obtain the materials and products needed to continue operating. This vaccine mandate, and travel delays that accompany it, are hurting American producers and industries,” states the letter.

Also signing were Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho; Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-North Dakota; and Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minnesota. They point out in the letter that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lifted vaccine restrictions because he recognizes the “economic and cultural benefits of being able to travel between the U.S. and Canada; there are a myriad of products and services for which we are reliant on one another.”

McMorris Rodgers has helped author two other letters to U.S. and Canadian officials urging border restrictions to be lifted, one in July 2020 and the other in January 2021.

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RaeLynn Ricarte is the author of two books and an award-winning editor and reporter with more than 25 years in the newsroom. She now covers government in Eastern Washington for The Center Square.
Photo “Cathy McMorris Rodgers” by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Photo “Dan Newhouse” by Rep. Dan Newhouse. Background Photo “Governor Wolf Receives COVID- 19 Vaccination” by Governor Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.


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