Senate votes against Biden's vaccine mandate for health care workers

They said the mandate is "overreaching"

Senate votes against Biden's vaccine mandate for health care workers

The United States Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers at federally funded facilities, passing the measure rejecting the requirement 49 to 44.

The resolution was sponsored by Senator Roger Marshall, who stressed that the federal vaccine mandate was "not about public health or science."

"It's about Joe Biden fulfilling his desire to control every aspect of our lives, and it's a slap in the face to the hard-working men and women who never took a day off on the frontline fight against COVID-19," he said before the voting began.

"Today is a huge victory for all the healthcare workers who ran to the sound of the COVID battle as Senate Republicans joined forces taking us one step closer to invalidating President Biden's overreaching and harmful CMS vaccine mandate," he added.

Critics of Biden's vaccine mandate have pointed out that their opposition against the rule was not about the jabs, but about their concerns over the staff shortages that could be worsened by the mandate.

Senator Kevin Cramer, who also introduced the resolution with Marshall, was one of the lawmakers who cited this reason.

"This is a vote to protect frontline and essential health care workers from Biden's overreaching vaccine mandate, especially at a time when we're facing personnel shortages across the health care field, particularly in rural hospitals and medical centres," he said in a statement.

Read more: CMS vaccine mandate goes into effect for California

The resolution was introduced through the Congressional Review Act, which is an avenue for Congress to roll back certain federal policies. With the resolution already passed, it is now going to the House of Representatives.

The White House in a statement already slammed the Senate resolution, stressing that Biden's vaccine mandate seeks to protect the lives of patients and healthcare providers.

"It makes no sense for Congress to reverse this much-needed protection for medically vulnerable patients, as well as our healthcare workers who have given so much to protect us," the Executive Office of the President said in a statement. "A vote for this resolution threatens the lives of patients and health care workers alike."

"If Congress were to pass this resolution, the President would veto it," it stated.

The Supreme Court previously blocked Biden's vaccine mandate for private employers but voted in favour of his vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

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