2 Senate Democrats may join GOP to stop Biden’s vaccine mandate


(NewsNation Now) — Two Democrats are expected to cross party lines backing a vote against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.

NewsNation first reported Tuesday that Sen. Jon Tester of Montana is “inclined to vote with Republicans” to oppose the president’s vaccine mandate on private employers.

Tester confirmed the reports later that evening.

“I’ve repeatedly heard concerns from Montana’s small business and community leaders about the negative effect the private business vaccine mandate will have on their bottom lines and our state’s economy,” Tester said in part. “That’s why I intend to join a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending Montana jobs and small businesses against these burdensome regulations.” 

On Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to put forth a measure to block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for enforcing the mandate. Tester would become the second Democrat to take a stance against the federal mandate. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is also expected to side with Republicans on the matter.

There are only 50 Republican senators, and 51 votes are needed to halt the measure.

“A strong majority of most blue states don’t like it when you say from the federal government, you either do this or else,” said Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana. “And when it’s your livelihood, your job when we’ve been working so hard the keep people with their employer.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer has called the Republican bill anti-science and says he’s not worried about a few Democrats pulling off to vote for this.

The mandate is expected to endure an uphill battle in the House.

It’s highly unlikely the Republican gambit will be effective in ultimately stopping the vaccine mandate, as President Biden would have to sign it into law. White House officials say Biden would veto the measure, should it arrive on his desk.

This story is developing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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