by WorldTribune Staff, December 6, 2022
Over the objections of Team Biden, congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they will include language within the annual defense policy bill that repeals the coronavirus vaccine mandate for U.S. troops, Fox News reported.
While the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will include a provision ending the Covid vaccine mandate for all service members, it will not reinstate those who were discharged or lost their benefits for refusing the jab the last few years.
A further provision within the legislation will mandate the Pentagon study ways to compensate service members who were punished for refusing to be vaccinated.
On Monday, the White House had reasserted its support for keeping the military vax mandate in place.
Defense “Secretary Austin’s been very clear that he opposes the repeal of that vaccine mandate, and the president actually concurs with the secretary that we need to continue to believe that all Americans, including those in the armed forces, should be vaccinated and boosted for Covid-19,” said White House National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said earlier this month that he won bipartisan agreement to lift the mandate during a White House meeting with Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
In August 2021, the mandate was imposed that required all U.S. service members to be fully vaccinated against Covid.
Thousands of troops were involuntarily separated from the military for refusing to get vaccinated and tens of thousands of others lost pay or benefits for the same reason.
The must-pass NDAA currently sits at $817 billion to fund and set policy guidelines for the Pentagon next year. It is expected to pass the House and Senate before the holidays this month.