Senate set to nullify Biden vaccine mandate

The Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday to nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers, giving Republicans a big symbolic victory.

Republicans say they expect the resolution will pass with at least 52 votes after centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) announced their support for the proposal. Every single Republican senator will vote for it.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA), which was enacted in 1996, sets up a fast-track process in the Senate that allows the minority party to force a vote on a resolution to disapprove of a federal rule. The CRA, however, does not have a fast-track process for the House.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday he isn’t worried about a few Democratic defections on the vaccine mandate.

“The position to me is pretty clear and that is that the more people that are vaccinated, the safer America will be, and we should encourage everything we can do to do it. That is the overwhelming view of the president and of the vast majority of Democrats,” he said.

The Senate’s anticipated passage of the resolution will set up a battle in the House, where Republicans plan to circulate a discharge petition to force Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to schedule a vote on the resolution.

“I’m hoping to get another two or three Democrats on board,” the lead Senate Republican sponsor of the proposal, Sen. Mike Braun (Ind.), told The Hill Tuesday before he knew that Tester would back the proposal.

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