Manchin won't rule out backing GOP effort to defund Biden vaccine mandate

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Sen. Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) declined to say Thursday how he would vote on a GOP effort to defund President Biden's vaccine requirement for larger businesses as part of the debate over a short-term bill to fund the government.

Manchin, asked if he would vote for an amendment to block funding for the mandate, sidestepped the question by saying that he was still "working" through it.

"I've been very supportive of a mandate for federal government, for military ... I've been less enthused about it in the private sector," Manchin said.

A small group of conservative senators are pushing for a vote on their proposal to block funding for the mandate as part of the Senate's consideration of a short-term deal to fund the government into mid-February. Democratic leadership hasn't publicly opened the door to an amendment vote.

The Senate took a similar vote in September as part of its debate on the first short-term funding bill. Manchin voted with all Democrats against the amendment at the time.

But the threshold for the amendment to get added into the funding bill at the time was three-fifths, meaning even if Manchin or another Democrat had voted "yes," their "no" vote wasn't critical for Democrats.

But the GOP senators pushing for the vote say that in order for them to consider helping speed up the short-term government funding bill this week, their amendment vote has to be at a simple majority threshold.

That means if Manchin and every Republican voted for the amendment to defund the vaccine mandate, it would be inserted into the short-term government funding bill.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said an amendment vote, which he stressed would have to be at a simple majority, in exchange for speeding up the government funding bill was "on the table right now."

"Sen. Lee, Sen. Cruz and myself will be talking with leadership and seeing what that amendment opportunity looks like," he said, referring to Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Congress has until the end of Friday to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Because of Senate rules, and the time crunch, any one senator can drag the process out past the deadline.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting