President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employers maybe won’t become law after all, as the Senate voted for it to be blocked.
The Biden administration tried to push to flex federal power to boost vaccinations in the U.S., by proposing a rule that large private employers must require their workers to be vaccinated or tested, or they will lose their jobs.
The Biden administration has threatened a veto, as the measure to block the mandate heads to the Democratic-held House, so it won’t be such an easy pass if it reaches the president’s desk.
As the mandate already didn’t have a big chance to become a law, it seems unlikely that Democratic leaders in the House will take up the measure.
The vote was 52-48, with two Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana — joining all Republicans to overturn the regulation.
There was an argument between the Republicans who introduced the plan to overturn the mandate, as it is believed that it would damage small businesses as they try to navigate the pandemic.
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said ‘that is the heavy hand of government, that is overreach.’
Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, said that blocking the mandate would damage U.S. efforts to contain the pandemic as a potentially more infectious variant gains hold, adding that: “The worst thing we can do is to tie our own hands behind our backs, and let these new variants spread and grow and new ones after omicron and so many others. But that is what Republican-pushed, anti-vaccines would do.”
Only four House Democrats would need to defect for a vote to get through both chambers if it comes to that. But that may not happen as the vast majority of Democrats in the House will oppose the measure.
Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt said the Biden policy was “fatally flawed” and “raised serious constitutional concerns.”
Plenty of lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the country challenging requirements, and according to legal experts, this case will likely end up before the Supreme Court.