Joe Manchin Joining Republicans: West Virginia Moderate Says He Will Help GOP With Provision to Defund President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Sen. Joe Manchin said Friday he’ll be joining with GOP Senate colleagues to vote against Biden’s vaccine mandates levied on private businesses,

said he will join his Republican Senate colleagues in voting against Biden’s vaccine mandates for private businesses, The Daily Mail reported.

“Let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses,” the senator said on Twitter after he voted to avoid a government shutdown. “That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses.

“The Federal government should ‘incentivize, not penalize’ private businesses to get their employees inoculated. I have personally had both vaccine doses and a booster shot and I continue to urge every West Virginian to get vaccinated themselves,” he said.

The Daily Mail adds:

The rule, implemented by Biden has drawn criticism from Republicans and several states have filed legal challenges.

If both the Senate and House approve the resolution by a simple majority or if both decide to override the president’s veto, then the rule would be invalidated.   

“President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate for private businesses is not a partisan issue: it jeopardizes the freedoms and livelihoods of Americans in all 50 states,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said in a Friday statement.

“I hope that more Democratic Senators and Representatives will follow Senator Manchin’s strong lead and stand up against this federal overreach that will wreak havoc on our recovering economy and trample on the rights of millions of Americans,” he added.

The Hill noted further:

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.