Congress Passes $858 Billion Military Spending Bill That Repeals Troop Vaccine Mandate

The Senate on Thursday passed an $858 billion military spending bill that repeals the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate for troops, The New York Times reports.

The Senate passed the bill 81 to 11, including the repeal that was decried by president Joe Biden.

Republicans in the House threatened to block the bill unless the repeal measure was included. Democrats ultimately agreed to the demand.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby accused Republicans of fighting “against the health and well-being of those troops, rather than protecting them.”

Republicans hailed the repeal on Thursday.

“Service members should be focused on bolstering our national defense, not political mandates,” said Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

Troops are already required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, the flue, measles, mumps and rubella, meningococcal disease, polio, tetanus, Diptheria and pertussis, and chicken pox.

Massive defense spending:

The bill also provides the Pentagon with $45 billion more than the Biden administration requested.

The bill gives a 4.6% raise to military members.

It also provides $800 million in new security aid to Ukraine and billions to Taiwan.

Sexual assault provision:

The bill also removes commanders from decisions in the prosecution of sexual assault cases.

Congress last year passed a bill removing most of the military commanders’ authority to prosecute sexual assaults but allowed them to keep key decision-making powers.

The Senate also rejected an amendment from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to ease permitting requirements to build fossil fuel pipelines.


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