Tuberville In the News: AL.COM: Tuberville push to ax military vax mandate passes House in final defense spending bill

The mandate for military personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is one step closer to being rescinded after language to remove the requirement championed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville was included in the final bill and passed by the House on Thursday.

“We shouldn’t be firing our service members for their decisions on the COVID shot,” the senator said.

Tuberville, who was among nine Republican senators that worked to get language in the defense spending bill to get rid of the mandate requiring members of the military to be vaccinated against COVID-19, suggested the mandate was among the factors contributing to a decline in new servicemembers joining the military.

“The United States needs a strong military to protect our country against the growing threats facing our nation,” Tuberville said in a joint statement Wednesday. “We are pleased that the final conferenced bill includes language mirroring our amendments’ efforts to protect troops from being fired due to Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate without fair appeal and to the harm of service readiness.”

The bill passed the House on Thursday and the Senate is expected to take it up and approve it next week.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Mobile, called the bill “a win for America” while Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, applauded the repeal of the mandate.

While Tuberville hailed the bill’s passage in the House, he criticized the tardiness in Congress approving the legislation before the new session begins in January.

“Waiting until the last minute to pass the NDAA is playing a game of chicken with our national security and with American service members,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration, which opposed rescinding the vaccination mandate, has not said whether the president will sign the bill with the provision.

“We continue to believe that repealing the vaccine mandate is a mistake. Making sure our troops are ready to defend this country and prepared to do so that remains the President’s priority and the vaccine requirement for COVID does just that,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday, according to CNN.