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GOP to Force Congressional Democrats to Drop Military Vaccine Mandate


The mandate requiring military members to get vaccinated against COVID-19 could be on its way out.

Republicans in Congress are set to end the Pentagon's COVID vaccine mandate for military members. Language repealing the mandate will be included in a bill dealing with the Defense Department budget for 2023. 

It's a move the White House calls a mistake, but Congress is now set to get rid of it. 

Doing that will require a major concession from Democrats as both sides take steps to pass the National Defense Authorization Act.

The compromise with Republicans comes a year after the COVID vaccine mandate was instated. The mandate has led to numerous legal battles for religious exemptions across all branches of the military. It has also fueled a decline in U.S. military recruitment.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said the Defense budget bill won't move forward without getting rid of the controversial military vaccine mandate.

President Biden's Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin supports the mandate, which requires military members to get vaccinated or face dismissal.

While 97 percent of active army personnel have complied with the order to accept the shot, more than 11,000 members of the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve have refused and many have already been forced from service.

And more than 10,000 U.S. Air Force personnel were being threatened with discipline or discharge because they refused to take the COVID vaccine due to their religious convictions. 

READ: As Vaccine Mandate Fuels Military Recruiting Crisis, Coast Guard Lifesaver Waits to Be Terminated for Objecting

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