Bill repealing Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate passes Senate, heads to House

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday repealing President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring employers with more than 100 employees to force their workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or succumb to regular testing for the disease.

Now, the question is whether the House will also pass the measure — and Rep. Fred Keller, the Pennsylvania Republican leading the effort in the lower chamber, appears optimistic.

“We’ve got all the Republicans in the House on it,” Keller said Thursday, according to Fox News. “And I’ve had very constructive conversations with colleagues on the other side of the aisle.”

Keller added: “It’s important for the American people to know that we trust them and respect them. It’s their government, and we’re making sure that no executive thinks they have the power to rule over them.”

Senate shoots it down

After the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an emergency rule imposing Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate on private employers across the country, both Keller, working in the House, and Indiana Republican Mike Braun in the Senate each introduced bills invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal Biden’s mandate.

Given that Democrats control both the Senate and the House, the likelihood of success seemed small. But this week, the Senate passed Braun’s bill by a vote of 52–48, NBC News reported. In addition to all 50 Senate Republicans, Braun got the support of Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Jon Tester (MT).

“I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Manchin said last week, according to Breitbart. “That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses.”

Now, the matter is headed over to the House, where it faces an even steeper uphill battle.

Headed to the House

That’s because the House GOP needs to convince at least five Democrats, in addition to all members of its own caucus, to back the bill.

What’s more, even if it did pass, reports indicate President Biden is likely to veto the measure.

But the threat of a veto from the president isn’t slowing Keller down. “I would hope he would keep his commitment to the American people,” the congressman said of Biden, according to Fox.

“Either he works for them or he thinks he is able to rule over them,” Keller added. “This is not whether somebody should or should not be vaccinated. This is whether or not the government should tell somebody to be vaccinated.”

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