Two Democratic senators just crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans, 52-48, against Joe Biden's vaccine mandates on private companies with 100 employees and over.
This resulted in an important rebuke of Joe Biden from the Senate.
The two senators who crossed the aisle voting to repeal the mandate were Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
Manchin had previously made clear that he was not supportive of any vaccine mandate on private businesses.
But let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That's why I have co-sponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses.
I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19. I have personally had both vaccine doses and a booster shot, and I continue to urge every West Virginian to get vaccinated themselves.
Tester said that while he supported people getting vaccinated, such a mandate would be incredibly harmful to the economy and that's why he was voting against it.
“Over the past few months, I've repeatedly heard concerns from Montana's small business and community leaders about the negative effect the private business vaccine mandate will have on their bottom lines and our state's economy,” Tester said. “That's why I intend to join a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending Montana jobs and small businesses against these burdensome regulations.”
Now, the repeal vote is unlikely to pass the House and if it did, it would likely get vetoed by Biden. But the courts have so far stopped the OSHA rule that Biden had wanted to use to institute the private business mandate.
It's an important rebuke that there were two Democratic senators willing to go on record against Biden in this effort. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) voted against the repeal so on this one, she went with the other Democrats. It shows that there are Democrats who will pull the trigger to vote against Biden if they think he's wrong and overreaching. It certainly indicates that Joe Manchin wouldn't be afraid to pull the trigger if he believes he has to on the Build Back Better bill as well.