Herrell co-sponsors bill that could strip universities of federal funds - Albuquerque Journal

Herrell co-sponsors bill that could strip universities of federal funds

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell has teamed up with fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on a bill that would strip schools of federal money if they mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.

Because the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University announced this week that there will be at least a partial vaccine requirement on their campuses this fall, the bill could potentially stop the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars to the two largest universities in the state.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

Greene introduced the We Will Not Comply Act on April 1. On July 30, Herrell became a co-sponsor with several other Republican lawmakers. The bill seeks to prevent people from being “discriminated against based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.”

The legislation says if a person is discriminated against for not being vaccinated or refusing to wear a mask, he or she can seek damages in U.S. District Court. It also says that any school – from elementary through higher education – would not receive federal funding if they require the vaccine as a condition to attend or participate in any academic or extracurricular activity.

“I believe forced vaccines are wrong & punishing unvaxxed people with any type of segregation & discrimination is wrong,” Greene wrote on Twitter.

The bill would also prohibit air carriers from requiring the vaccine.

UNM President Garnett Stokes announced Monday evening that the state’s flagship university would have a vaccine requirement this fall. New Mexico State University officials announced Tuesday that all employees would have to be fully vaccinated by the end of September or undergo weekly testing, and that an announcement on a vaccine or testing requirement for students would be coming soon.

UNM budget documents show that in 2021-22, the school’s main campus budget contains $194 million in federal appropriations, which makes up a little more than 20% of the campus’ $862 million budget. It wasn’t clear Tuesday how much federal funding NMSU is set to receive this year.

Cinnamon Blair, a spokeswoman for UNM, said the university relies on federal appropriations and can’t support any legislation that “undermines public health protections for our Lobos and our state.”

“The citizens of New Mexico benefit greatly from the groundbreaking advancements in many areas of federally funded UNM research – such as cancer treatment, substance use disorders and sustainable water resources, to name a few,” she said. “Additionally, federal dollars support student success through scholarships, grants and programming.”

She said the policy is intended to keep the campus community safe.

Rep. Yvette Herrell

Including Herrell, there are now 10 Republican lawmakers co-sponsoring Greene’s bill, which will have little chance of success, given that Democrats control both chambers and the White House.

“Rep. Herrell knows that discriminating against unvaccinated people is scientifically unnecessary and divisive. New Mexico educational institutions will not lose any federal money if they refrain from unconstitutionally and unjustly discriminating against people,” Billy Gribbin, a spokesman for Herrell, said in an email. “Rep. Herrell believes that medical decisions are best left between patients and their doctors, and is glad that everyone in New Mexico who wants a vaccine has access to it.”

The Democratic Party of New Mexico called the bill dangerous.

“Congresswoman Herrell is playing partisan games and actively undermining life-saving efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” DPNM Chair Jessica Velasquez said in a statement. “As COVID cases continue to spike, this deference to conspiracy theorists and extremists is not only unacceptable, but also dangerous for all Americans.”

Home » News » New Mexico News » Herrell co-sponsors bill that could strip universities of federal funds


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
'Cleaning Lady' set to return on Sept. 19; filming ...
ABQnews Seeker
On Sept. 19, 'The Cleaning Lady' ... On Sept. 19, 'The Cleaning Lady' returns to TV for its second season. For nearly two months, crews have been on the ground in ...
2
New colonel takes command of 58th Special Operations Wing
ABQnews Seeker
Commander is a helicopter and drone ... Commander is a helicopter and drone pilot
3
Lights, camera, Rio Rancho! Production company opens film ...
ABQnews Seeker
Studio space is in demand in ... Studio space is in demand in New Mexico. That's exactly the reason Edit House Productions decided to expand to its own film studio. It ...
4
You can’t sell what you don’t own, in life ...
ABQnews Seeker
When I was 4 years old, ... When I was 4 years old, I loved stuffed animals. I had spent three or four weeks in a hospital and what helped me ...
5
Company brings fast internet to reservation
ABQnews Seeker
Tribal and school officials are working ... Tribal and school officials are working with a local company to provide internet to everyone
6
New colonel takes command of 58th Special Operations Wing
ABQnews Seeker
Commander is a helicopter and drone ... Commander is a helicopter and drone pilot
7
Report: Ruidoso fire caused by power lines
ABQnews Seeker
McBride Fire has spawned lawsuits McBride Fire has spawned lawsuits
8
Cyclists ask for more cleanups, pedestrians request a heads-up
ABQnews Seeker
Readers who get around on two ... Readers who get around on two wheels are asking for help with glass, mud and more
9
Personal dispute leads to shooting in ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
Arrest warrant issued for woman in ... Arrest warrant issued for woman in shooting that left one dead, two injured