GOP Senators Oppose Advancing NDAA Unless Military Vaccine Mandate Canned

November 30, 2022 by Dan McCue
GOP Senators Oppose Advancing NDAA Unless Military Vaccine Mandate Canned
A COVID vaccine being administered aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford. (Photo by Seaman Jackson Adkins)

WASHINGTON — A group of U.S. senators led by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said they will oppose passage of this year’s defense spending authorization unless the chamber votes to repeal the current COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military personnel.

In a letter to Republican leaders in the chamber, the dissident group says it will oppose invoking cloture on the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2023 fiscal year unless the Senate votes on a single amendment that would prohibit the involuntary discharge of members of the military who declined to be vaccinated.

The group, which also includes Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., also wants service members who have already been discharged due to their vaccination status to be reinstated with back pay.

“The Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country,” the senators wrote.

“As of April 2022, approximately 3,400 troops have been discharged from the military for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” they continued. “While the Department of Defense certainly must make decisions that will bolster military readiness, the effects of the mandate are antithetical to readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked.” 

The letter was sent to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Republican Whip John Thune, R-S.D., Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Asked about the letter, which was first made public during her daily press briefing, White House Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said she could not comment on the matter, but directed reporters to the Defense Department, which, she said, could speak to its COVID vaccine policies.

A spokesman for the Defense Department said it does not comment on pending legislation.

In the meantime, the group of 13 senators maintain the U.S. “simply cannot afford to discharge our brave men and women in uniform and lose the investments we have made into each and every one of them due to an inept bureaucratic policy. 

“We respectfully request that the Senate vote to remedy a policy that adversely affects our service members and our national security,” they concluded.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • COVID vaccine mandate
  • GOP Senators
  • military
  • NDAA
  • vaccines
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Health

    May 15, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Sanders Says Weight Loss Drugs Could Bankrupt US Health Care System

    WASHINGTON — The sky-high prices of a pair of new weight loss drugs could push annual spending on prescription drugs... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The sky-high prices of a pair of new weight loss drugs could push annual spending on prescription drugs in the United States to over $1 trillion and effectively bankrupt the American health care system in the process, according to a new report released by... Read More

    Fewer US Overdose Deaths Were Reported Last Year, but Experts Say It's Too Soon to Celebrate

    NEW YORK (AP) — The number of U.S. fatal overdoses fell last year, according to Centers for Disease Control and... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — The number of U.S. fatal overdoses fell last year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data posted Wednesday. Agency officials noted the data is provisional and could change after more analysis, but that they still expect a drop when the final counts... Read More

    FDA and Congress Must Protect Printed Patient Medication Information 

    Some of the most hotly debated policy conversations happen around health care because it hits so close to home. Almost... Read More

    Some of the most hotly debated policy conversations happen around health care because it hits so close to home. Almost everyone has either experienced a serious health challenge or has seen someone close to them go through traumatic health issues. It’s why many Americans feel so... Read More

    There's Bird Flu in US Dairy Cows. Raw Milk Drinkers Aren't Deterred

    Sales of raw milk appear to be on the rise, despite years of warnings about the health risks of drinking... Read More

    Sales of raw milk appear to be on the rise, despite years of warnings about the health risks of drinking the unpasteurized products — and an outbreak of bird flu in dairy cows. Since March 25, when the bird flu virus was confirmed in U.S. cattle... Read More

    The Older Americans Act Is Not Keeping Pace With Today’s Older Adults

    In 1965, the Older Americans Act was a beacon of successful bipartisan legislation to address the social, economic and health needs... Read More

    In 1965, the Older Americans Act was a beacon of successful bipartisan legislation to address the social, economic and health needs of older Americans on a national level. Nearly 60 years later, the act has changed little, yet life for older adults and what it takes for them... Read More

    May 13, 2024
    by Beth McCue
    Finnish Study Finds Link Between Premature Menopause and Mortality Risk

    OULU, Finland — A study by researchers at University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital in Finland found women who enter... Read More

    OULU, Finland — A study by researchers at University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital in Finland found women who enter menopause before the age of 40 are more likely to die young, but may lower their risk with hormone therapy. The researchers presented their findings at... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top