Some House Democrats oppose a Republican proposal for schools to seek parent or guardian approval before vaccinating underage students.
Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) introduced an amendment that proposes making parental consent mandatory for schools to vaccinate children or teenagers against COVID-19.
The amendment aims to bolster “parental consent protections.”
“A local educational agency that receives funding under this part may not offer vaccinations to minors on property owned, or managed by such [a] local educational agency without the consent of a parent or guardian,” the document said according to Breitbart.
Miller believes this requirement complies with general medical procedures for minors.
“Parents know what is best for their children–not any government body,” she said according to the publication.
However, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) opposed any such amendment. He used a budget reconciliation markup meeting to declare the government knows better than parents, especially when it comes to vaccination.
“I know I will get in a lot of trouble for this but I want to refer to the sponsor’s premise for the amendment, and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘parents know what is best for their children,'” he said in a video shared on Twitter. “I think the evidence is compelling and overwhelming, and widespread that they do not.”
Yarmuth, who chairs the House Budget Committee, blamed “misinformed” parents for hospitalizing “tens of thousands” of children with the virus.
“One of the reasons that we need to avoid steps like this is that we need to protect kids from their parents,” he said in a video shared on Twitter. “That is the unfortunate state of the country right now. For that reason and many others I will oppose the amendment.”
House Democrats think that @RepMaryMiller is wrong about parents knowing what’s best for their children.— House Ed & Labor Republicans (@EdLaborGOP) September 10, 2021
Instead, Democrats say that “we should protect children from their parents.”
⬇️WATCH HERE⬇️ pic.twitter.com/OgXxfa1Od4
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) resorted to calling the amendment “nonsensical,” and implied Miller refuses to follow the science.
“I believe we have to protect our children, and I think this amendment is nonsensical,” Jayapal said in a video shared on YouTube. “It does not go with the science, it does not make any sense, and it is not protecting our children.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) accused Miller of creating a “straw man argument.”
“This is a nonsense amendment that is in search of a problem that does not exist, and I would urge my colleagues to reject it based on … [how] it is intended to score political points–it is not a sincere amendment,” he can be heard saying.
However, GOP Reps. Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Virginia Foxx (N.C.) pushed back against the other side of the aisle.
“I was actually appalled at the statement from Kentucky that we have to protect kids from parents. That is outrageous,” Wilson said. “I want to thank the author because she exposed the view, which is absolutely inconceivable to me that the government knows better than parents.”
Foxx announced she would vote in support of Miller’s amendment.
“I believe what the gentleman from Kentucky and the gentlewoman from Washington have indicated [is] that it is not the right of the parents–that they would like to take the rights away, in their minds, to protect the children,” she said.
The Education and Labor Committee opposed the amendment along party lines.