Dec 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate passes resolution to overturn Biden vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden speaks while visiting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.
President Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, on Dec. 2. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution to overturn President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees.

Driving the news: Democratic Sens. John Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W. Va.) backed the Republican-led resolution, which needed a simple majority of 51 votes to be approved by the Senate under the Congressional Review Act.

  • The resolution is unlikely to become a law, as it still has to clear the House, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not plan to schedule a vote on it. Biden would likely veto the measure.

Flashback: President Biden announced the new rule in September, requiring vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees.

State of play: The rule — initially set to go into effect on Jan. 4 — kicked off a slew of lawsuits from GOP-led states that sought to block the vaccine rule, calling it "unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise."

  • A federal appeals court last month blocked Biden's enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, contending it raises "grave statutory and constitutional issues."
  • Senate Republicans last month filed their objection to Biden's vaccine mandate for private companies under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to repeal executive branch actions.

What they're saying: "I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses," Manchin said in a statement last week.

  • "That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses."

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