Politics

Senate votes to block President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses

On Wednesday night, the Senate voted to overturn the Biden administration’s rule that would require large private employers to force their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly, otherwise they face losing their jobs.

Two Democrats – West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Montana Sen. Jon Tester joined all Republicans, making the vote 52-48.

“Getting vaccinated should be a decision between an individual and his or her doctor. It shouldn’t be up to any politician, especially in a mandate coming down from that highest authority, the president,” said Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana.

Brain led the effort to overturn the measure during the Senate debate. The vote seemed to be mostly symbolic since the Democratic-led House will likely not take up the initiative, which President Biden will veto if it reaches his office.

Republicans used a law known as the Congressional Review Act to call Biden’s requirement into question. The act allows Congress to overturn federal regulation and requires a majority vote in both the Senate and House to do so.

Prior to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said he was extremely opposed to the measure, attacking supporters of ending the requirement as anti-vaxxers. “Some of the anti-vaxxers here in this chamber remind me of what happened 400 years ago when people were clinging to the fact that the sun revolved around the Earth,” he said. “They just didn’t believe science. Or 500 years ago when they were sure the Earth was flat.”

But Braun, who indicated that he was pro-vaccine and is vaccinated, said the Biden administration’s mandate was “the heavy hand of government” and “overreach.”

He added that his phone had been ringing nonstop with calls from his constituents that are opposed to the mandate. “It’s got Main Street America scared,” he said. Other legislators opposed to the Biden administration’s rule also made the point that they believed in vaccines, but not when they are required by the government.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: USA TODAY

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