House Republicans continued this week to try to force the Pentagon to give up its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Democrats, Liz Cheney Defeat GOP Measure By Rep. Gaetz To Help Troops Bypass Vax Mandate 

House Republicans continued this week to try to force the Pentagon to give up its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

One way they sought to do that was by firing the man carrying out the policy, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Another was to reinstate to their ranks, with back pay and benefits, those troops who refused to get vaxxed and were discharged.

In both cases, Democrats, with the help of Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, prevailed.

During debate on Wednesday, GOP Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana introduced an amendment to the federal defense-spending bill that would force Austin to repeal the mandate within 30 days of the bill becoming law. If he failed to do so, Congress would yank the waiver it granted Austin so he could take the job.   

“There’s a lengthy list of things that have gone wrong under Secretary Austin’s tenure at the Department of Defense, perhaps not more damaging than the requirement that service members subject themselves to the COVID vaccine,” Johnson said during a House Armed Services Committee debate on the bill.

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Johnson noted that the military has granted just 58 of more than 22,000 requested religious exemptions for the vaccine. In addition, the U.S. Army slashed 12,000 troops from its budget request because it didn’t believe it could recruit them.

“Because of the vaccine, more than 40% of males aged 18 to 24 have chosen not to become fully vaccinated in the U.S. and as a result, they are ineligible to join the military. So right off the bat 40% of the target demographic for military service is in fact ineligible to serve now,” Johnson said.

“In my area of the country, the southeast region, where DoD recruits approximately 50% of its enlistments, over half of the male population has not gotten the vaccine. It’s not hard to see where all this is headed. The mandate is forcing qualified people out of the force, and it’s preventing qualified people from joining the force.”

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Democrats voted down the amendment, according to Breitbart News, joined by one Republican: Cheney.

Breitbart noted that the Pentagon has so far discharged more than 5,000 troops who opted not to be fully vaxxed.

As The Free Press recently reported, Rep. Matt Gaetz pledged to bring an amendment calling for those troops to be reinstated to their previous rank and pay, with all back pay and benefits restored.

During the committee debate, the Fort Walton Beach Republican argued that in fits of fear and anxiety, especially when national security was at stake, the nation had enacted “irrational” policies it later came to regret and sought to rectify because they “did not stand up to logic, common sense or reason or the rights enshrined our Constitution.” 

The same should apply with the “horrendous” vaccine mandate, which has forced the Pentagon to “fire” thousands of its troops amid a “recruiting crisis,” Gaetz added. Like Johnson, he noted that the vax mandate was making young Americans more reluctant to serve.

“The best thing that Congress can do is express our displeasure with the mandate and our desire that the Department of Defense reinstate these individuals who never should have been separated in the first place,” said Gaetz.

The Democrats — and Cheney — voted that down too. 

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