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Joe Biden suffers major blow as OWN party turns against his vaccine plans

2 min read

Trump says Biden has done a 'terrible job' with vaccines

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Two senators from the US President’s own party threw their support behind a Republican measure on Wednesday. The Biden administration has ordered businesses with more than a hundred employees to require Covid-19 vaccination or testing for their workers.

The private business mandate has already been halted by a federal appeals court.

Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, and Jon Tester, of Montana, joined 50 Republicans in supporting the measure.

The vote of 52 to 48 means the bill will go to the Democrat-led House of Representatives.

Mr Manchin said in a statement following the vote: “I have always supported a vaccine mandate for federal employees and the military because maintaining essential services and military readiness the federal government provides is a matter of national importance.

“However, I do not support any government vaccine mandate for private businesses.

“It is not the place of the federal government to tell private business owners how to protect their employees from COVID-19 and operate their businesses.

“We should incentivise, not penalise, private employers to encourage vaccination among their employees.”

He added that he was fully vaccinated and had received a booster shot – and encouraged other Americans to do similarly.

The Senate vote lays bare the deep political opposition the Biden administration is facing over its attempts to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

America has the world’s highest daily reported new Covid infections, according to data aggregator Worldometer.

It has also seen 813,904 deaths due to virus, the most of any country in the world.

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Chuck Schumer, Democrat Senate majority leader, defended the President’s attempts to protect citizens.

He said: “We are in the middle of a public health crisis. Everyone sees the damage it causes.

“The way to solve this is to be driven by science.”

Usually, Senate rules require 60 of the hundred members to agree to most legislation for it to pass.

However, only a simple majority was required for this under the Congressional Review Act – a process that allows the US Congress to overturn rules generated by federal agencies.

On Tuesday, the White House said assured employers that the measure would not be burdensome as the vast majority of American adults are fully vaccinated.

It noted that small businesses would be exempt from the requirements.

The White House estimates that the measure would impact over 80 million workers in the private sector.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader, described the mandate as “illegal” and “absurd”.

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