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Sens. Marshall, Moran plan legislation to nullify President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A day ahead of a scheduled news conference to discuss the issue, Senators Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran have announced planned legislation that would nullify or invalidate President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Kansas’s two U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) say they will join Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and First Liberty Institute general counsel Mike Berry to host a news conference on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8:15 a.m. CT to discuss a new bill meant to halt President Joe Biden from dishonorably discharging servicemembers who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sen. Marshall said he introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevention Act as President Biden mandated millions of Americans to get vaccinated against the virus and the Department of Defense issued guidance which stated soldiers who refuse to get vaccinated will face “administrative or non-judicial punishment [under UCMJ] - to include relief of duties or discharge.

Since the introduction of the bill, Marshall and Moran said the White House has announced opposition to their legislation and in turn have doubled own in their support to give servicemembers dishonorable discharges for refusal of the vaccine. They said dishonorably discharged service members are stripped of the following rights and benefits:

  • Ownership of any firearms or ammunition
  • Access to the GI Bill for further education
  • VA home loans
  • VA medical benefits
  • Military Funeral Honors
  • Re-enlistment in another military branch

Marshall also said he has doubled down on his efforts and pledged to oppose every effort to implement and enforce the vaccine mandate, particularly on upcoming spending measures considered by the Senate. He said all 50 Senate Republicans have supported his amendment to the proposal in September to defund enforcement of the mandates on private companies.

“President Biden is waging a cruel campaign to punish unvaccinated Americans—depriving them of their ability to provide for their families. This is nothing short of immoral. There are so many humane ways to defeat this virus. Depriving law-abiding citizens of their livelihood must not be included among them,” said Senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “To that end, please be advised (many weeks in advance of the current spending period, which ends on December 3, 2021) that we will not support—and will use all means at our disposal to oppose—legislation that funds or in any way enables the enforcement of President Biden’s employer vaccine mandate. Nor will we vote for or support cloture on any continuing resolution in the absence of language protecting Americans from this action.”

The Senators who joined Marshall on this letter include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Ut.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, Moran said he joined 40 of his colleagues in the Senate to move to formally disapprove of and nullify the vaccine mandate on private employees under the Congressional Review Act, the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch regulation.

Moran said he also spoke during a news conference on the formal challenge to the mandate.

“The decision to get vaccinated should be left to each individual in consultation with doctors they trust,” said Moran. “President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate is a clear overreach of executive authority that threatens to worsen the labor shortages faced by private businesses in Kansas and across the country. This administration’s abuse of power must be checked, and I support this resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the federal vaccine mandate.

This week, Moran said the Biden Administration is expected to issue a rule to officially mandate vaccination requirements for employees who work at private businesses with over 100 employees. He said the rule, which will affect over 80 million Americans, will impose $14,000 fines for those who do not comply.

On Sept. 8, Moran said Biden announced the mandate, which are expected to force employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly tests before they come to work. As announced, he said the federal employee and contractor plan does not include the option of testing rather than taking a vaccine.

To implement the mandate, Moran said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enacted an Emergency Temporary Standard.

According to Moran, the Congressional Review Act can be used by Congress to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by President Biden, or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the rule will be invalidated.

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