Senate passes resolution to overturn Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate

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The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution to overturn President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees.

Driving the news: Democratic Sens. John Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W. Va.) backed the Republican-led resolution, which needed a simple majority of 51 votes to be approved by the Senate under the Congressional Review Act.

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  • The resolution is unlikely to become a law, as it still has to clear the House, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not plan to schedule a vote on it. Biden would likely veto the measure.

Flashback: President Biden announced the new rule in September, requiring vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees.

State of play: The rule — initially set to go into effect on Jan. 4 — kicked off a slew of lawsuits from GOP-led states that sought to block the vaccine rule, calling it “unconstitutional, unlawful and unwise.”

  • A federal appeals court last month blocked Biden’s enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, contending it raises “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”

  • Senate Republicans last month filed their objection to Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to repeal executive branch actions.

What they’re saying: “I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Manchin said in a statement last week.

Go deeper: Republican-led states begin legal fight over Biden vaccine mandate

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