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Senate set to vote on bill banning Biden vaccine mandate, likely to pass with Manchin’s backing

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The Senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution to overturn President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies, as Republicans and at least one Democrat push back administration rule requiring vaccines or inconvenient testing rules for workers in large companies.

The Senate 50 Republicans, led by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., Last month backed a challenge to the vaccines mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This law allows Congress to formally disapprove an executive rulebook through a resolution passed by each chamber.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., said last week that he also supports the Braun resolution.

“I do not support any government mandate of vaccines on private companies,” Manchin said Thursday after voting against an amendment to a government funding bill that would nullify public and private vaccine mandates. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and a handful of other Republicans forced that vote in exchange for speeding passage of the fundraising bill, but they got no support from Democrats.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks to reporters outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke about the debt ceiling and the infrastructure bill. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)
(Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)


Republicans also believe Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, could vote for the Braun resolution. She declined to say if she would vote for it in an interview with CNN last week. Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., Is also pushing his Democratic counterpart from Montana, Senator Jon Tester, to “join[] me in my efforts to block all of Biden’s warrants. ”

The Braun resolution only needs a simple majority to pass the Senate, which means the bill is likely to succeed. Representative Fred Keller, R-Pa., Heads accompanying legislation in the House of Representatives, which his office said on Friday had 206 cosponsors. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Said on Friday the bill was unlikely to come to a vote in the House with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. ., in charge.

“The challenge is how you get it on the ground,” he told reporters. “We are not in the majority. We do not control it.”

Even if Republicans and potentially a handful of Democrats manage to force a House vote on the ARC resolution, those resolutions are subject to a presidential veto. And it’s highly unlikely that Biden will sign a bill overturning a rule he ordered his administration to pass.

Senate set to vote on bill banning Biden vaccine mandate, likely to pass with Manchin’s backing

Senator Mike Lee. R-Utah said on Thursday that Republicans would continue to push back President Biden’s vaccine mandates.

“It will likely come back next week with the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution,” Lee said Thursday. “This is insufficient, of course. One of the flaws of the ARC is that resolutions of disapproval of the Congressional Review Act are subject to the presidential veto. So the same president who abuses his executive power that this president has with these mandates, is certain to veto. “

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the White House believes Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies is on solid ground “on the basis of a 50-year-old law. years that Congress put in place 50 years ago …. We will continue to move forward with these demands. “

Psaki also said the administration’s mandate should be called a “vax or test” because employees who do not get vaccinated can instead wear masks to work daily and undergo COVID-19 tests. regular.

Lee said Republicans will continue to force the issue, as Biden’s vaccine warrants also face many challenges in federal courts. He said Republicans plan to make changes to the funding of vaccine mandates in any future vote-a-rama, which Democrats will face this month if they push forward their reconciliation spending bill. on time.

“It will come back in any future vote-a-Rama,” Lee said. “It’s going to come back… and it should.”

Senate set to vote on bill banning Biden vaccine mandate, likely to pass with Manchin’s backing

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, October 4, 2021, in Washington. Biden can veto any Congressional Review Act resolution, which means it is almost certain that Congress cannot overturn the federal mandate for vaccines for private companies.
(AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Lee added that some Republicans could again threaten to block a government funding bill and cause a shutdown in February when the current pending resolution expires, “in the unfortunate event that the President persists in upholding that in February. force, threatening the American people in that way. “

But James Wallner, the R Street Institute’s senior resident researcher for governance, said any votes on future legislative efforts against vaccine mandates are unlikely to have any real effect.


“Everything that happens now or in the New Year will be choreographed. It will be something that is put in place in the Senate, almost always with the unanimous consent of both leaders,” Wallner said. “I imagine you will see, for example, votes in the Senate that create the illusion that something like a vaccine term ban might pass before you see real policy like this pass.”

He added: “They will set them thresholds of 60 votes, they will structure the process. If they cannot block the vote completely, they will create a process whereby… the price of getting your vote is that you lost.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jason Donner contributed to this report.

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