Second Senate Democrat to back vote against Biden vaccine mandate

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), a centrist Democrat from a state that voted heavily in favor of former President Trump, is planning to vote for a Republican resolution to nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers.

Tester is the second Senate Democrat to say he will support overturning Biden’s employer vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said last week that he would do so as well.

The Senate is expected to vote on the issue as soon as Wednesday, and it will pass with the support of Manchin and Tester, as every single Republican senator is planning to vote for the resolution.

“I’m not crazy about mandates,” Tester told a reporter for NBC News on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Tester confirmed that his boss is “inclined to vote for the CRA resolution” sponsored by his Republican colleagues.

Manchin announced his position last week after the Senate voted along party lines to defeat an amendment sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to prohibit federal funding for the implementation of Biden’s vaccine mandate.

“I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses,” Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin and Tester voted against the Lee amendment because it was attached to a stopgap funding measure to keep the federal government operating until February.

Manchin said he didn’t want to risk a government shutdown by pairing the continuing resolution with language to defund the vaccine mandate, which Biden may have vetoed.

Once the Senate passes the resolution to stop Biden’s mandate, it will go to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not plan to schedule a vote on it.

Republicans, however, can force Pelosi’s hand if they can get a majority of the House to sign a discharge petition to require a floor vote. 

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester Mike Lee Nancy Pelosi vaccine mandate

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