Republicans on Capitol Hill demand that Democrats remove the Defense Department’s vaccine mandate prior to passing the latest military budget appropriation.
Rand Paul (R-Ky.) led the charge by announcing last week that he and other Republican Senators would not vote for the Department’s annual budget appropriation, until the vaccine mandate is over. Since 1960, Congress has approved every military budget appropriation.
Paul stated at a press conference last Wednesday that Congress should “take action” and was talking about action. “We won’t vote to pass the NDAA, Defense Authorization bill, unless there is a vote on ending the military vaccine mandate.”
Senator Rick Scott (Republican from Florida) echoed Paul’s comments last week and said that Congress should “analyze” how the mandate was implemented.
Republicans in the House have adopted the same position. Kevin McCarthy, the likely new House Speaker, has pledged that the defense bill would not be moved forward until the vaccine mandate is removed.
The White House of President Biden stated that the administration is “considering ending” the mandate. However, Biden noted that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin supports it.
The U.S. has so far targeted thousands of military personnel who refused to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
This month, more than 20 Republican governors wrote a letter to Biden asking for an end to the mandate. They claimed that the policy made it much more difficult to recruit members for the National Guard.