Senate Republicans fail to block Democrat-led Vaccine Mandates
If you ask any vaccine skeptics about their objections to the vaccine mandate their answer usually is two-fold.
First, they are concerned about the effectiveness and side effects of the vaccine. The authorities are frequently redefining the term ‘fully-vaccinated’ by adding boosters also alarms them.
They are also troubled by government overreach. They realize that once freedoms and rights are encroached upon by the government, they are seldom fully relinquished completely.
The Biden administration has successfully mandated vaccines for health care workers, military personnel, and non-citizen air travelers, while their attempts to mandate the vaccine for federal government contractors and employees and private sector employees have failed. There have been proposals to vaccinate children, including those under 5.
State administrations have imposed restrictions on movement, access to public spaces, and public assembly. There have been instances of police arresting and fining individuals for merely attending a party or being part of religious gatherings.
While other restrictions can be undone over a period of time, the citizen understands that the vaccine once injected into your body will cause permanent changes.
Since the Democrats have been dogmatic about vaccine mandates, the people look towards the Republicans for support.
The good news is that some Republicans have been showing the way to challenge undemocratic mandates.
On Tuesday, February 15, Republican Sen. Mike Lee proposed an amendment to defund vaccine mandates for medical workers, military personnel, federal employees, etc.
Senator Lee distributed copies of a letter to his Senate colleagues on behalf of himself, and Sens Roger Marshall of Kansas, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Mike Braun of Indiana, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz of Texas.
The following is a key excerpt from the letter.
“We have consistently opposed President Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which would force millions of Americans to choose between an unwanted medical procedure and being able to provide for their families. For legal, constitutional, and policy reasons, we remain not only strongly opposed to the mandates, but also firmly convinced that the risk of inaction on our part is unacceptably high”
The amendment received support from some of Lee’s fellow GOP senators; however, the support was not enough to pass the amendment.
Senator Lee’s amendment failed in a 46-47 vote.
A mere day later on Wednesday, February 16, Republican Senator Ted Cruz proposed an amendment to the budget that would block federal funding for schools and child care centers that mandate Covid-19 vaccines for children. It was a very astute proposition.
Cruz said the following while introducing his amendment:
“Enough is enough. It’s time to stop the petty tyrants imposing Covid-19 vaccine mandates on families across the country. No child should be denied an education because of his or her personal medical choice. Schools shouldn’t get federal taxpayer dollars to trample on our constitutional liberties. It’s time for all of us to take a stand. Are you with parents and kids, or power hungry politicians?”
Senator Cruz even tweeted a warning to Republican Senators not ‘skip town’ for his amendment
NO REPUBLICAN SENATOR should leave town this afternoon.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 17, 2022
Schumer is panicking right now because Dems WILL LOSE THE VOTE on my amendment & @SenMikeLee amendment to BLOCK BIDEN’s VACCINE MANDATES & BLOCK MANDATES ON KIDS.
The only way Dems win the vote is if Rs skip town.
Much like the support for Senator Lee’s amendment, Cruz’s fellow GOP senators’ support was not enough to pass the amendment.
Senator Cruz’s amendment failed in a 44-49 vote.
For both these amendments, the problem was with six GOP senators.
The usually suspect Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted against the amendment; she was joined by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.
Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma were absent.
Senator Graham is currently in the UK, focused on defending Ukraine and holding Putin accountable, his back symbolically turned:
Great meeting with my good friend, Prime Minister @BorisJohnson who is one of the leading conservative voices in the world.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 19, 2022
The US-UK relationship remains foundational to our foreign policy and who we are as a people. 🇺🇸🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/8mQN1FXFAJ
Next, 19 GOP senators voted in favor of averting a government shutdown, which means they handed Democrats more time to fund their anti-citizen agenda.
Last year, 80 House Republicans voted to fund the creation of a federal vaccination database.
All polls and trends suggest that the GOP will have emphatic wins such that they will have a majority in both the House and the Senate.
But power is meaningless if those who are in possession of it are reluctant to use it.
Republicans are aware that their constituents are deeply skeptical about the vaccines and want the ability to choose what to inject into their bodies, yet 2 among them sided with Democrats and 4 were absent. This is inexcusable; at this juncture, there shouldn't be a bigger concern for Senators than that of their constituents. These constituents are merely demanding the freedom of choice, which is essential in a democracy.
The Republicans must remember that in a democracy, the voter lends power to their representatives. This representative doesn’t own power, they are merely custodians of power. They are hence obliged to act in the interest of the people.
If the Republicans win majorities in both the Senate and the House in November, the people will have high hopes. If after that some among the Republicans side the Democrats for key issues and block the overall agenda of the people, there will come a time when the public will run out of patience.
The Republicans must remember that patience when needlessly provoked turns to fury.
Photo credit: Twitter (cropped)