Senate votes to quash Biden vaccine mandate for business


While it likely won’t become law because its chances of securing a House vote are uncertain and Biden is certain to veto it, the effort demonstrates bipartisan opposition in Congress to the federal government’s mandate on the vaccines for large employers.

The effort was led by Republican Senator from Indiana, Mike Braun, and it only needed a simple majority of 51 votes to be approved by the chamber.

The final vote was 52-48. Two Democrats, Sense Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined their 50 GOP colleagues in voting to repeal the requirement.

Biden announced in September that he would ask the Department of Labor to require all companies with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be fully vaccinated or to undergo weekly tests for Covid-19 and wear masks. A state of emergency was enacted in November, sparking legal action from Republican-led states and private employers, as well as liberal-leaning unions.
Last month, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine rules, which were due to go into effect Jan.4. The multiple lawsuits against the warrant have since been consolidated and reassigned to an Ohio federal appeals court, with many expecting the case to end in the United States Supreme Court.
Senate Republicans last month filed their challenge to Biden’s tenure under the Congressional Review Act, a legislative tool that allows Congress to overturn an executive rule.

Braun and other Senate Republicans have argued that the vaccine mandate is a step beyond the authority of the federal government and puts more pressure on already struggling businesses, while insisting that vaccines are a choice. staff.

Last week, as Congress faced a deadline to fund the government, a few Senate Republicans threatened to force the government to shut down unless they get a vote on an amendment that would ban the use of the government. Federal funding for Biden’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates. The amendment, however, ultimately failed in a 50-48 vote.

As he voted to extend government funding until February to avoid a shutdown, Manchin announced that he had signed as a co-sponsor of the GOP resolution to cancel the vaccine requirement for businesses. and “will strongly support him”.

“I have long said that we should incite, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from Covid-19,” the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement last week.

Manchin is not the only Democrat to voice his support for the repeal of the vaccination mandate.

Explaining his opposition to the requirement for a vaccine, Tester said he “had repeatedly heard concerns from small businesses and community leaders in Montana about the negative effect the mandate of private company vaccines would have on. their results and the economy of our state “.

“That is why I intend to join a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending jobs and small businesses in Montana against these restrictive regulations,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell previously told Fox News that the Senate would vote on the resolution this week, adding that he believed he would have a “decent chance to pass the Senate.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the Republican-led challenge of the Covid-19 vaccine mandate an “anti-science and anti-vaccine vote.”

“If their plans go into effect, Covid will persist longer and the chances of new variants and more dangerous new variants will increase,” Schumer told Capitol Hill. “It’s anti-science, anti-common sense, it just doesn’t make sense.”

However, many companies voluntarily put security measures in place early in the Covid-19 pandemic to protect their employees and customers, and are moving forward with Covid vaccine warrants, which the courts overturn or uphold. the regulations of the Biden administration.

This story and title was updated with additional development on Wednesday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the leadership position of Senator Mitch McConnell. He is the leader of the senatorial minority.

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.


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