US Senate passes Republican bill to overturn Biden vaccine regulation

The United States Capitol is seen in Washington
The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, U.S., December 6, 2021. REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz / Files

December 9, 2021

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a Republican measure to reverse President Joe Biden’s authority to test or test a COVID-19 vaccine against him. with private businesses, with two Democrats joining Republicans to support the initiative.

The 52-48 vote would send the legislation to the Democratic-led House of Representatives, where it faces strong headwinds, while Biden has threatened to veto it.

The act would reverse regulatory rules that require businesses with 100 or more workers to require vaccinations or coronavirus testing for millions of employees.

The bill doesn’t follow Senate rules that require 60 of its 100 members to agree on most laws, meaning it could pass with a simple 51-vote majority. Two Senate Democrats – Joe Manchin and Jon Tester – joined 50 Republicans in voting for the bill.

The initiative highlights the intense political outcry facing the administration’s efforts to combat COVID-19 at a time when health officials are trying to contain the highly contagious variant of Omicron. orchid.

Republicans say they have been inundated with calls from businesses with up to 500 workers concerned about having to lay off employees who oppose COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

Republican Senator Mike Braun, who leads the legislature, said ahead of the vote in the Senate.

The White House said in a statement Tuesday that employers would not face a burden from the mandate because the vast majority of American adults are fully vaccinated, noting that the rule exempts except for small businesses.

Biden’s private business mandate has been delayed by a federal appeals court firm-stay-biden-vaccine-mandate-2021- 11-12 . A US judge in Georgia also blocked a Biden mandated vaccine aimed at federal contractors on Tuesday.

“We are in the midst of a public health crisis. Everyone sees the damage it does,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat, said in a statement. “The way to solve this problem is driven by science.”

The United States has the highest average daily rate of new coronavirus infections in the world. The virus has infected 49.5 million Americans and killed more than 794,000, the highest death toll of any country, according to the Reuters COVID-19 Tracker.

Republicans have touted bipartisan support for the measure as a clear message of public concern about the mandate’s potential impact on workers, businesses and the economy.

The institute’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, sees Biden’s mission as an “illegal” and “absurd” government attempt to micromanage the lives of private citizens.

“This is not how things work in our country,” McConnell said.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan, Trevor Hunnicutt, Eric Beech and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney) US Senate passes Republican bill to overturn Biden vaccine regulation


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