2021 Review: Republicans Discredited COVID-19 Vaccine, Created Dangerous Culture Wars, Called Historic Investments “Socialism”


INGOP’s extreme partisanship on COVID-19 vaccines has led to low vaccination rates, more than 18,000 dead across Indiana

INGOP labeled the American Rescue Plan’s READI program, broadband, clean water, roads and bridges, vaccines, and childcare as “socialism” 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized the Indiana Republican Party for a 2021 record consisting of discrediting the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine and creating unnecessary culture wars – all which have done nothing but divide Hoosier families across Indiana. The Indiana Republicans’ extreme partisanship, in fact, is directly responsible for the state’s low vaccination rate, COVID-19 levels (cases and hospitalizations) not seen yet through the entire pandemic, and many of the 18,000 lives lost due to the coronavirus.

Democrats were also profoundly disappointed this year to see an Indiana Republican Party put its partisan opposition to President Joe Biden ahead of creating a better future for Hoosier families. This includes “NO” votes on the American Rescue Plan and The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (The Jobs Act), two once-in-a-generation investments to revitalize the state’s infrastructure system and put the COVID-19 pandemic in the past. The INGOP’s partisanship has become so extreme that politicians like Todd Young, Mike Braun, and Jackie Walorski all voted “NO” for broadband, roads and bridges, and clean water investments – issues they’ve all campaigned on themselves. In fact, Indiana Republicans now view policies like the Rescue Plan’s READI program as “socialism”. 

When it mattered most, Indiana Democrats stood with Hoosier families and delivered a better future for them. And Indiana Republicans? Their partisanship came first. The Indiana Democratic Party will campaign aggressively on this for the 2022 state and midterm elections. 

Here’s a sampling of how extreme INGOP was during 2021:

January 2021: Mike Braun announces intentions to object to the 2020 presidential election results just hours before the Insurrection against the United States. 

January 2021: Despite the Insurrection against the nation, Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Greg Pence, and Jackie Walorski all vote to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. 

January 2021: Todd Rokita pledges forever allegiance to Donald Trump just days after the Insurrection in Washington, D.C.

January 2021: Eric Holcomb omits a proposed pay raise for Indiana educators – despite campaigning on it in 2020. 

February 2021: Indiana Republicans propose a third of the education budget for an unregulated school choice system.

February 2021: Indiana Republicans issue a session-long partisan assault on the state’s big cities, including Indianapolis.

February 2021: Republicans shout down and boo members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus during session. 

February 2021: Eric Holcomb denies educators the opportunity to receive COVID-19 vaccines through a waitlist – despite being frontline, essential workers. 

March 2021: Every single Republican in Indiana’s Congressional delegation voted “NO” on the American Rescue Plan. 

April 2021: The Republican supermajority refuses to extend legitimate workplace protections for pregnant Hoosiers. 

April 2021: Republicans introduce legislation to restrict voting access for Hoosiers, fitting a nationally-coordinated effort by the GOP following the 2020 elections.

April 2021: State Senator Scott Baldwin sends campaign email about the second amendment on the same day the FedEx mass shooting occurs in Indianapolis. 

April 2021: Indiana General Assembly overrides Eric Holcomb’s veto on legislation that limits a governor’s powers during state emergencies – like the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 2021: Republicans refuse to credit American Rescue Plan for successful state budget (including broadband, Holcomb’s READI program, teacher pay raises, and fully-funded schools), following Congressional GOP’s universal “NO” 

April 2021: Greg Pence touts policy program funded by the American Rescue Plan – despite voting “NO” on the law. 

May 2021: Indiana Republicans begin year-long, taxpayer-funded lawsuit over emergency powers legislation vetoed by Eric Holcomb and overridden by the General Assembly. 

May 2021: Indiana Republicans announce fight against Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students and faculty – despite passing similar legislation in 2017.

May 2021: Republicans vote “NO” on establishing a nonpartisan commission about the January 6 Insurrection against the United States. 

August 2021: Todd Young flip flops on support for The Jobs Act, after months-long PR campaign as bipartisan leader on the legislation.

August 2021: Indiana Republicans conduct partisan redistricting “listening” tour across the state – refusing to take questions or respond to constituents. 

September 2021: Eric Holcomb and Indiana Republicans oppose President Joe Biden’s updated COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements – despite implementing a similar vaccine mandate on college campuses in 2017. 

September 2021: Victoria Spartz found to have violated the STOCK Act. 

October 2021: Republicans found to hire Washington, D.C. consultant for upcoming redistricting effort – despite promising “fair” process.

October 2021: Scott Baldwin found to be an annual member of the Oath Keepers, a domestic terrorist organization connected to the January 6 Insurrection.

October 2021: Indiana Republican Party described Eric Holcomb’s READI program, American Rescue Plan, the Jobs Act as “socialism” – despite supporting and campaigning on policies within the laws. 

November 2021: Mike Braun was caught cheating in his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign by violating national campaign finance laws. 

November 2021: Every single Republican in Indiana’s Congressional delegation voted “NO” on The Jobs Act – calling it a “great campaign to run on”. 

November 2021: Mike Braun calls to defund the U.S. military unless former President Donald Trump receives funding for a border wall. 

November 2021: Indiana Republicans propose House Bill 1001, which would further discredit the COVID-19 vaccine and force the state’s business community to pay for critical testing procedures. 

December 2021: Republicans’ partisanship on COVID-19 cemented Indiana as the most dangerous state to call home during the pandemic. 

December 2021: Todd Rokita said he doesn’t “believe the numbers” provided by the state during the latest COVID-19 surge across Indiana. 


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