Two Democrats Join 50 Senate Republicans in Vote to Throw Out Biden's Vaccine Mandate
06:24 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 06:25 GMT 09.12.2021)
US President Joe Biden had set a 4 January deadline with an executive order requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations or weekly tests.
The US Senate voted on Wednesday night to overturn the Biden administration's bid to require all employees at large businesses to either be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or take weekly tests for the disease.
The 52-48 vote sends the proposed legislation to the Democratic-majority House of Representatives. While the bill is not expected to be brought up for a vote in the House, two Democratic lawmakers, Senators Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined 50 Republicans in support of the measure to throw out the vaccine mandates.
The effort was led by Indiana Republican Senator Mike Braun.
"Getting vaccinated should be a decision between an individual and his or her doctor. It shouldn't be up to any politician, especially in a mandate coming down from that highest authority, the president," Braun said.
The White House has indicated that Biden will veto the measure in the highly unlikely chance that it passes the Democrat-controlled House.
The Senate vote came just a day after a federal judge decided to block the mandate for federal contractors nationwide, ruling that POTUS exceeded his authority by imposing the requirement.
Last week, two different judges temporarily halted separate mandates requiring millions of workers to get the COVID-19 jab. A federal judge in Louisiana froze the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from introducing a mandate for health care workers, while a Kentucky federal judge blocked the Biden administration from enforcing the requirement for government contractors in three states.
Last month, a federal appeals court froze the administration's bid to require workers at American companies with at least 100 employees be vaccinated.
In November, the Biden administration said that companies with over 100 employees must ensure each of their workers is either fully vaccinated or tests negative for the virus on a weekly basis starting from 4 January 2022.