Senator Joe Manchin said that he intends to join Republicans in a vote to strike down President Joe Biden’s unlawful federal vaccine mandates.
“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Thursday that he would join all 50 of his Republican colleagues in backing a resolution challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private business,” the NY Post reported with an update on Friday afternoon.
“The Senate is expected to vote next week on a resolution of disapproval of the Biden administration rule requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure that workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or implement weekly testing requirements,” the NY Post added.
“The rule has been slammed by Republicans and drawn legal challenges from several states,” the Post noted. “If both houses of Congress approve the resolution by a simple majority and it is signed by the president — or if both chambers override a presidential veto — the rule would be invalidated.”
“Let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Manchin said in a statement on Thursday. “That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses.”
There was a strong indication that Manchin might be willing to vote with the GOP to kill the Biden vaccine mandate on Thursday night.
“Sen. Joe Manchin became the first Democratic cosponsor of SJ Res 29 tonight, Sen. Braun’s measure to overturn and ban the OSHA vaccine mandate,” the Election Wizard tweeted. “That makes 51 co-sponsors in the Senate.”
The House companion of SJ Res 29 is HJ Res 65, which has 207 GOP cosponsors and is run by Rep. Keller. There are no Democrat cosponsors.
“If by some chance all of this pans out and the GOP finds the votes, Pres. Biden would have the ability to veto it,” the Election Wizard noted. “But forcing a veto on bipartisan bill would be an embarrassment for Biden and the pro-mandate Democrats. One last thing… It’s potential ammo against vulnerable Democrats in 2022. Put them on record as having voted for the vaccine mandate, which is deeply unpopular.”
While Manchin is posturing against vaccine mandates in the private sector, he has come out on the record as support of such mandates in the federal government and in the military.
“I’ve been very supportive of a mandate for federal government, for military … I’ve been less enthused about it in the private sector,” Manchin told The Hill.
Manchin and Sinema, initially at least, voted ‘no’ to an amendment that would have defunded Biden’s vaccine mandates. On Thursday, the Senate debated Rep. Roger Marshall’s amendment S. 4868 to block all funding and enforcement of all Biden vaccine mandates through February 18. The Senate amendment failed 48 to 50, with senators Thune and Hagerty missing the vote. All 50 Democratic Senators voted for all five Biden vaccine mandates.
“But the threshold for the amendment to get added into the funding bill at the time was three-fifths, meaning even if Manchin or another Democrat had voted ‘yes,’ their ‘no’ vote wasn’t critical for Democrats,” Fox News noted.
Furthermore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated that he would not ‘shut down’ the federal government over funding for Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“Well, I think there’s good news,” McConnell said. “Multiple courts have pushed the pause button on these government vaccine mandates. There’s a decent chance the courts will strike them down.”
“Secondly, next week we’re going to have a vote on the vaccine mandate, prohibiting that regulation from going into effect. I think it has a decent chance of passing the Senate,” he continued. “I don’t think shutting down the government over this issue is going to get an outcome.”
“It would only create chaos and uncertainty, so I don’t think that’s the best vehicle to get this job done,” he added. “I think the courts are likely to get it done or we’ll pass [it] early next week freestanding, a measure to overturn the government mandate.”
“We’re not going to shut the government down,” McConnell said. “That makes no sense for anyone. Almost no one on either side thinks that’s a good idea.”
Millions of Americans who stand to lose their livelihoods over the federal vacccine mandates almost certainly would disagree.