A bill intended to fund the U.S. government until mid-February has won the support of enough Senate members to get passage and prevent a partial shutdown of federal agencies at the end of this week.
The vote Thursday night came after some Republican senators threatened to block the process in order to voice their opposition to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates. Senators voted on an amendment to fund the federal vaccine mandate, which ultimately failed, paving the way for passage of the short-term funding bill.
The measure, which was approved by lawmakers in the House earlier today, will keep the federal government funded for the next two and a half months.
The need for vaccine warrants, which were introduced by Joe Biden, has taken on added significance as the United States braces for the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The plot by Republican senators to undermine the vaccine tenure came after some Republican states had previously sought to reduce terms, by increasing unemployment benefits for employees who were made redundant or resigned due to being forced to work. get vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the House Freedom Caucus, a group of right-wing Republicans in the House of Representatives, urged their Senate colleagues to block the fundraising bill, also known as the continuing resolution, “unless it doesn’t ‘prohibits the funding – in all respects – of immunization mandates and their implementation.
In a letter to Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate minority, House Freedom Caucus, said Friday’s deadline gave their colleagues in the Senate “significant leverage” to prevent funding mandates.
Biden introduced vaccine warrants, which require employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests, for federal workers and contractors in July. In September, Biden ordered healthcare workers to get vaccinated and businesses with 100 or more workers to demand Covid-19 vaccines or tests, which the government said would cover more than 100 million employees. . Those measures were suspended by court rulings, after Republican state attorneys general, conservative groups and professional organizations sued to stop the regulations.