Democrat-Controlled Senate to Nullify Biden’s Vaccine Mandate on Large Employers

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) speaks with reporters, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Democrat-controlled Senate is set to cancel President Biden’s vaccine mandate on large employers Wednesday.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) are likely to vote for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, handing Senate Republicans a symbolic win over Biden’s vaccine mandate, which is thus far halted by several courts.

“The basis of my decision is we don’t like mandates, and quite frankly, I heard a lot from my business community that they didn’t like — workability was bad,” Tester explained.

Additional Democrats may break ranks with their party and condemn the mandate, Sen. Mike Braun, (R-IN), the sponsor of the bill, told the Hill.

“I’m hoping to get another two or three Democrats on board,” Braun said, noting 70 percent of voters oppose the mandate in Arizona, a state where vulnerable Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is running for reelection and might oppose Biden’s mandate and vote with Republicans..

The White House has defended itself against the potential Democrat rebuke by excusing the mandates as a means to force individuals to comply with federal government dictates.

“Our view and the view of many Americans is that if people aren’t vaccinated, having them test once a week is quite reasonable,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. “And we also know that more than 100 leading public health experts have endorsed this rule.”

Psaki also noted Biden will veto the resolution to protect his mandate. “If it comes to the President’s desk, he will veto it,” Psaki said.

But the resolution must first pass the Democrat-controlled House to reach Biden’s desk. Sen. Braun stated the measure has a good chance of passing the House because Republicans “just need five or six Democrats over there” to vote for it.

“There are 30 [Democrats] in swing districts that are going to have to” consider voting for the package if they want to keep their seats in 2022, Braun said.

The House, however, is not obligated to fast-track a vote on CRA resolutions, unlike the Senate, which may dampen Republicans’ hopes of rebuking Biden and his mandate.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.