Republican senators' efforts to defund vaccine mandates — and schools that enforce them — failed Thursday night.
By a vote of 47-46, the Senate did not pass an amendment written by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that would have prohibited federal funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandates under the continuing resolution being brought before the chamber before Friday night's deadline to fund the government.
The resolution to extend government funding through March 11 passed by a 65-27 vote, but the ban on vaccine mandate funding failed along with two other GOP-led amendments, including:
The passage of the resolution gives Congress more time to work on the parameters of a long-delayed federal budget for fiscal 2022.
Lee and other GOP senators have vowed to slow the passage of the resolution if it did not include a ban on federal funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
"We have consistently opposed President [Joe] Biden's federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which would force millions of Americans to choose between an unwanted medical procedure and being able to provide for their families," Lee's letter to colleagues read. "For legal, constitutional, and policy reasons, we remain not only strongly opposed to the mandates, but also firmly convinced that the risk of inaction on our part is unacceptably high.
"These COVID-19 vaccine mandates amount to a serious abuse of both federal power and executive authority. They also further strain the economic and social pressures our society currently faces, while completely ignoring existing evidence-based data on natural immunity from previous COVID- 19 infection."
If the Senate fails to pass the resolution before midnight Friday, the government would shut down, freezing nonessential government spending.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.