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U.S. Senate passes Marshall resolution to ban CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate

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Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 4:31 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution introduced by Senator Roger Marshall to ban the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate from taking effect and now heads to the House of Representatives.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says on Wednesday, March 2, the U.S. Senate passed his legislation to halt President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Marshall said he delivered a statement on the Senate floor after the vote.

“Make no mistake, this federal vaccine mandate is 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,” said Marshall. “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. These workers are the true heroes of the pandemic and deserve our best fight and utmost respect.”

Marshall said the resolution halts the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for nearly all health care employees and prevents any similar mandates from being proposed in the future.

According to the junior Senator from Kansas, the mandate would have exacerbated staffing shortages and imposed heavy costs on health care facilities.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the unfunded mandate would have cost over $158 million to health care facilities in order to implement it. For nursing homes and rural health care providers - who are already facing shortages - losing even 1% of staff would be catastrophic.

Marshall said these providers would be forced to limit available services or close doors for not meeting minimum staffing requirements. He said the rule also does not take into account those who acquired natural immunity following a previous COVID infection or the fact that vaccines have not been proven to prevent the transmission of the now dominant Omicron variant.

According to Marshall, the CMS mandate was previously interdicted from taking effect by a federal court in Louisiana and one in Missouri. While the Supreme Court ruled in January that CMS has the power to impose the conditions, it would harm access to care for rural and underserved communities.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and nine other attorneys general have already asked for a separate federal court to reopen litigation to lift the stay on further district proceedings.

Companion legislation to Marshall’s bill has been introduced by U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and has the support of nearly 170 members.

The resolution will now head to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Marshall said the Congressional Review Act is a legal tool that allows Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies, once it has been properly noticed. “Proper notice” happens when a regulation is printed in the Federal Register and received by the Clerks of the House and Senate.

The CMS vaccine mandate regulation was printed in the Federal Register on Nov. 5, 2021. With nearly 40 cosponsors, the resolution has received privilege in the Senate and allowed the body to vote on it.

To watch Sen. Marshall’s full statement, click HERE.

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