Senate Passes Defense Bill Repealing Biden’s Military Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate

 December 16, 2022

On Thursday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2023, 83-11, which repeals the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate. The bill featured strong bipartisan support. The bill will soon go to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

While many Senate Republicans cheered the repeal of the mandate, GOP senators, such as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), said he would continue to fight to give backpay to those who were “wrongfully discharged”. He reportedly said-

“Florida is home to 21 military bases and three unified commands, and proud of the important and strategic role we play in America’s national defense. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I fought hard this year to make sure the Sunshine State, America’s national security initiatives, our military, veterans and their families got big wins in this NDAA. Since coming to the Senate four years ago, I’ve consistently advocated for major investments in our defense capabilities and to support Florida’s military bases and our military families.”

“The NDAA that passed the Senate today is a huge improvement over President Biden’s woefully inadequate defense budget proposal and a great win for Florida, America’s national security and our military community, but there is still work to do. While I’m glad this NDAA rescinds the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, I will continue to fight so that every service member who was wrongfully discharged has the opportunity to be reinstated with backpay.”

-Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)

In his support of the bill, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) wrote-

“Glad to fight for Montana’s brave men & women in uniform and support our national security.”

- Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

In stating her accomplishment, in sponsoring the bill, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote-

“It’s official — the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act has passed the Senate with    my measure to repeal Biden’s military COVID vaccine mandate.”

- Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Obviously, this was an uphill battle for Republicans in their effort to undo Biden’s COVID mandate for the U.S. military. Bipartisan support, however, in some aspects was negotiated rather than gifted. The Democratic side of the House and Senate wanted to see their own addition of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) passed as well.

In the December 8th edition of Breitbart News, reportedly Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told the outlet that Democrats offered Republicans congressional support for removal of “vaccine mandates” imposed on members of the U.S. Armed Forces, in exchange for inclusion of the JCPA within the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Sen. Cotton was reported to have said-

“[The JCPA] certainly shouldn’t have been used as the Democrats were trying to use it, as a negotiating chip for ending the COVID vaccine mandate on our troops,”

-Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Since Republicans, likely were able to point out that the JCPA, is more of a national security threat, in the way that the Act can be applied through the loopholes it presents for China, it was able to be removed from the bill as antagonistic. Further that the repeal of Biden’s COVID mandate continued to be a measure within the bill, strongly suggests that the dwindling numbers of recruitment, in all branches of our military, are a national concern.

That this bill passed both Houses also demonstrates that bipartisan efforts, no matter how slow or arduous – are possible. The next Congress needs to get busy and get even more done. Sealing Americas’ southern border would be a good start. It will take decades to overcome the millions now of illegal migrants that have invaded us there, all while our troops have been cut off by this mandate that is being repealed.

The hope is that Senators like Scott, Daines, Blackburn and Cotton, will pursue those in the military that were discharged because of this, and restore them to service with full back pay. America, needs the strength of its military for the days ahead.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

-Mark Twain
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