The Senate voted down an amendment to the temporary government funding bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The amendment, introduced by Republican Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, took aim at President Joe Biden’s announced vaccine mandates for federal employees and companies with more than 100 employees. The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, failed 50-50.
“My wife and I got the vaccine. My parents got the vaccine and they’re waiting to get their booster. But whether to receive it is a personal choice between individuals and their doctor, not mandated via unconstitutional executive actions that the administration recently acknowledged they didn’t have authority to put in place,” Marshall said in support of the amendment.
“No precedent exists in American history for punishing private employers who don’t enforce government vaccination edicts. Astonishingly, House Democrats included fines up to $700,000 on businesses that have unvaccinated employees as a way to pay for their out of control spending. Make no mistake, this vaccine mandate is not about public health or science. If it were, we’d recognize natural immunity. We’d recognize natural immunity as a highly effective way to combat the virus,” he continued.
Republicans have introduced multiple pieces of legislation to roll back Biden’s executive order mandating vaccines for federal employees and contractors and instructions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a rule requiring vaccine mandates for private businesses with more than 100 employees. OSHA has not yet promulgated the rule, which will be instituted through an emergency temporary standard. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Senate Republicans To Introduce Legislation To Block Federal Agencies From Requiring Proof Of Vaccination)
Multiple Republican-led states have promised to sue the Biden administration as soon as OSHA releases the rule.
The Senate will vote on a resolution to fund the federal government through December Thursday afternoon, in order to avert a government shutdown. Without the funding, the federal government would shut down on Oct. 1, for the fourth time in a decade.