According to the Daily Caller, the Biden administration has revealed that it is now considering putting an end to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military.
There has been extra pressure recently, particularly from Republican-led states, to end the mandate. Just at the end of November, in fact, a group of over 20 Republicans sent Congressional leadership a letter calling for the mandate to be repealed.
“The Biden vaccine mandate on our military creates a national security risk that severely impacts our defense capabilities abroad and our state readiness at home,” the governors wrote.
The Republicans argued that the mandate has hurt both the U.S. military’s and U.S. National Guard’s ability to recruit troops.
On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – the man whom many believe will be the speaker of the House in January when the Republicans take the majority – revealed that congressional leadership and the Biden administration had reached a deal regarding the Pentagon’s COVID vaccine mandate.
Fox News reported:
McCarthy said he met with the elder Biden earlier this week and claimed to have achieved an agreement in which the Pentagon’s coronavirus vaccination mandate will be essentially lifted through the next congressional National Defense Authorization [NDAA].
The Biden administration, though, quickly pushed back on McCarthy’s claim.
“Leader McCarthy raised this with the president, and the president told him he would consider it,” the White House is reported as saying.
“The secretary of defense has recommended retaining the mandate, and the president supports his position. Discussions about the NDAA are ongoing,” it added.
McCarthy insists it will happen
Following the Biden administration’s statement, McCarthy, on Sunday, made an appearance on the Fox News channel, where he insisted that the military COVID vaccine mandate will be lifted as part of the NDAA.
“We’re working through what is the NDAA, the national defense bill,” McCarthy said. “We will secure lifting that vaccine mandate on our military because what we’re finding is, they’re kicking out men and women that have been serving.”
McCarthy added that ending the mandate will be “the first victory of having a Republican majority.”
When asked for clarification about whether the NDAA will end the mandate, McCarthy replied, “Yes, it will. Otherwise, the bill will not move. I’ve been very clear with the president.”
The question that hasn’t been answered is what, if anything, McCarthy is going to have to give up in exchange. We’ll see.