Thursday, March 3, 2022

As the midterms approach, Republicans club Dems using the Health Care Worker vaccine mandate/ The Hill

Healthcare workers comprise a huge chunk of employees.  They are the only group for which a national COVID vaccine mandate had stood.  Many are extremely unhappy about this mandate--especially when some states or employers have announced they must also get boosters.  

Facing close races in November and predictions that the Republicans will take over the House as well as the Senate, the Republicans found an easy way to stick it to their Dem colleagues without actually helping the healthcare workers.  (At least so far this won't help them.)  And that is to force the Dems to register their position on the HCW mandate by calling a vote.

Six Democratic Senators dodged the vote in a Senate that is divided 50-50 between the parties. (My "independent" Senator King caucuses and votes with the Dems.)

I can't wait to see if a similar vote can be forced in the House before the Midterm elections.  With so many races expected to be tight, the Dems will not want to lose the healthcare worker block. Many will either miss the vote or vote with the Republicans.  This is the way to get rid of the HCW mandate:  if the Republicans are truly committed to persist with this winning issue.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday voted to strike down President Biden’s vaccine mandate targeting health care workers, in a rebuke of the administration.

Senators voted 49-44 to approve the GOP effort to nix the rule — a vote they were able to force under the Congressional Review Act.

Though no Democratic senators voted with Republicans to eliminate the rule, GOP senators were able to get it through the evenly divided Senate because of Democratic absences. Six Democratic senators missed the vote. 

The mandate was rolled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which sought to require the COVID-19 vaccine for health care workers at providers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. 

But the effort to nix the rule is facing headwinds. The Congressional Review Act sets up a fast track process in the Senate, but it does not greenlight the same procedure in the House.

If it made it to Biden’s desk, Democrats expect that he would veto it.  

“If it passes this won’t go anywhere in the House, and President Biden would veto it,” a Democratic Senate aide said.

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