The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. servicemembers was one of the worst and arguably unfair decisions made by the Biden administration, and as a result, it could soon be trashed.
According to the Daily Caller, Congress and the White House are considering ending the policy now that President Joe Biden recently declared the pandemic “over” earlier this year.
High-profile lawmakers have reportedly recently broached the topic with the White House as pressure builds to repeal it.
Those same lawmakers have suggested inserting language that would finally end the vaccine mandate for U.S. troops in an upcoming piece of financial legislation.
Congress’ annual defense bill will be published next week, and Politico reported that language rolling back the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military members could be included.
Politico noted, “Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said a rollback of the policy is on the table for a compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act, but hasn’t been decided yet.”
Smith even admitted that it’s time to look at changing things now that the COVID situation is mostly in the rearview mirror.
“I was a very strong supporter of the vaccine mandate when we did it, a very strong supporter of the Covid restrictions put in place by DoD and others,” Smith explained. “But at this point in time, does it make sense to have that policy from August 2021? That is a discussion that I am open to and that we’re having.”
Republicans have already made public calls to include the language in the upcoming defense bill. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, was one of them.
We are working hard to ensure the final NDAA safeguards our military servicemembers from the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate.
As Joe Biden said himself — the pandemic is over.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 5, 2022
Reaction to the idea of nixing the servicemember mandate was well received on the conservative side, but many want the situation to be taken even further, to include protections for troops who were discharged for refusing to take the jab.
“End the vaccine mandate 100%. Also, full reinstatement, backpay, lost promotions, etc. Full compensation for our servicemembers,” one Twitter user wrote.
End the vaccine mandate 100%. Also, full reinstatement, backpay, lost promotions, etc. Full compensation for our servicemembers.
— not4naught (@naught4not) December 5, 2022
Only time will tell if the final version of the NDAA contains language to at least cancel the mandate. If it doesn’t, expect House Republicans to take lead on the matter once they assume majority control in the 118th Congress.