Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Thursday declined to say if he would vote for a Republican amendment to defund President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Manchin, when asked if he would vote for an amendment to block funding for Biden’s vaccine mandate, said he is still “working” through it.
“I’ve been very supportive of a mandate for federal government, for military. … I’ve been less enthused about it in the private sector,” the West Virginia Democrat said.
Congressional leaders have struck a tentative deal to fund the federal government through February; however, many Senate conservatives, led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), hope to use the spectre of a government shutdown to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) support the strategy.
The conservative senators have pushed their proposed amendment to defund the vaccine mandate to receive a simple majority vote, or 51 votes, instead.
This would mean that with all Republican and Manchin’s support, the amendment would be included as part of the continuing resolution (CR).
Marshall said that the amendment vote, in exchange for speeding up the passage of the CR, is “on the table right now.”
“Sen. Lee, Sen. Cruz, and myself will be talking with leadership and seeing what that amendment opportunity looks like,” Marshall explained.
Even if the amendment were attached in the Senate, the House would have to agree to the CR with the amended CR, as would President Joe Biden if the bill was sent to his desk.
Congress will shut down Friday at midnight if Congress fails to pass a CR or another government-funding bill before then.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.