WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Lawmakers are looking to include language in the annual defense bill that will repeal the military vaccine mandate.
- A provision will also require the Pentagon to look into compensating service members who were punished for refusing the vaccine.
- The move comes just a day after the administration maintained its stance to keep the mandate.
Congress is working to repeal the military vaccine mandate as part of the annual defense policy bill.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that Congress will not pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if the vaccine mandate for the military stays. He stated that the administration should look forward to more moves like this from the Republican majority.
Members of the Armed Services Committees in the House and Senate are planning to add certain provisions within the NDAA. These provisions would let the Defense Department assess the status of service members affected by the mandate and require the Pentagon to look into compensating service members who were punished for refusing the vaccine.
The bill will be able to remove the military vaccine mandate, but will not reinstate service members who were punished for refusing the vaccine. Some service members were discharged while others saw their benefits reduced.
The revised bill is expected to be released on Wednesday. The House will vote on it later this week.
The move comes just a day after the White House reiterated its stance on maintaining the vaccine mandate.
According to John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications of the White House National Security Council, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made clear his opposition to repealing the mandate, and that the president agrees.
Kirby said that the president believes that “all Americans, including those in the armed forces, should be vaccinated and boosted for COVID 19.”
Source: Fox News