The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers promulgated by President Joe Biden’s administration is being opposed by over 150 Republicans in Congress, who say the administration hasn’t taken into account the mandate’s potential effect on already short-staffed hospitals.
“We are concerned that if the Biden administration moves forward with their vaccine mandate for medical personnel, the resulting staff shortages could actually cost lives instead of saving them,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said in a statement.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last month announced every facility that receives federal funding must force workers to get a vaccine or terminate them.
The mandate was recently blocked nationwide, for now, by two federal courts. CMS last week suspended enforcement of it, though officials say they’re “confident” they’ll ultimately prevail in the cases.
“While CMS remains confident in its authority to protect the health and safety of patients in facilities certified by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of this rule pending future developments in the litigation,” officials said.
In preparation for the mandate possibly ending up back in force, Duncan recently introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review that would overturn the mandate if approved by Congress.
Now that the CMS regulation was received by the Senate and House clerks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can bring it up as a “privileged resolution.” That would automatically lead to a vote in the lower chamber.
McCarthy was not one of the co-sponsors listed and his office did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for Duncan declined to comment when asked whether McCarthy has committed to bringing the resolution up for a vote. She told The Epoch Times that no Democrats have indicated support for it thus far. Democrats control both chambers of Congress.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), who helped introduce the resolution, called the mandate “a slap in the face to the hard-working men and women who never took a day off in the frontline fight of the COVID-19 battle.”
Marshall, a doctor, said he supports the vaccine but believes it should be a personal choice to take it.
“With this [resolution], Rep. Duncan and I are continuing to do everything in our power to fight for those who ran to the sound of the battle—for these are the true heroes of the pandemic and deserve our best fight and utmost respect,”