U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis announced on Wednesday that they will vote against President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for private companies employing more than 100 people.
The Senate was to vote Wednesday on a Republican proposal to strip funding for enforcement of Biden’s mandate that workers at companies employing more than 100 people either be vaccinated or undergo regular coronavirus testing.
The measure was expected to clear the Senate as two Democratic senators — Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — signaled they would vote for it.
Barrasso and Lummis, who are both vaccinated, spoke out in favor of the proposal, expressing concerns over government overreach as their reason for support.
“I’m a doctor. I am pro-vaccine but I’m anti-mandate,” Barrasso said.
“That’s because I believe this mandate is a massive overreach by the government and a massive mistake. So today, we are going to pass the Congressional Review Act to get rid of this mandate,” he said.
Lummis said citizens of Wyoming should consult with their physicians when deciding whether to get the vaccine and government should not be a part of that conversation.
“I will keep fighting for the rights of people in Wyoming to make their own medical decisions, she said.
As for its chances in the U.S. House? It might have sufficient support to pass.
U.S. Sen. Rick Braun, R-Indiana, said there are enough Democrats in battleground districts that could be pressured into signing it.
“There are 30 Democrats in swing districts that are going to have to” take a hard look at signing, he said.
Becoming law is another matter. White House Press Secretary Psaki on Wednesday said the bill is doomed.
“If it comes to the president’s desk, he will veto it,” Psaki said.
“Our view and the view of many Americans is that if people aren’t vaccinated, having them test once a week is quite reasonable as we’re thinking about how to protect our workplaces, how to protect stores and retail locations as people are out shopping for Christmas and the holidays, how to protect schools and public places. And we also know that more than 100 leading public health experts have endorsed this rule,” she said.