ICYMI: Rogers Asks DoD for Plan to Rescind COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Washington, December 29, 2022
Exclusive: Top Armed Services Republican Asks DOD for Plan on Repealing Vaccine Mandate
December 23, 2022
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday asking for his plan to comply with the repeal of the vaccine mandate that was successfully pushed by Republicans in Congress.
In his letter to Austin, first obtained by Breitbart News, Rogers wrote:
As you are aware, this morning the President signed H.R. 7776, the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, into law. This important legislation reflects a bipartisan agreement on national security policy and includes a number of important provisions regarding recruitment and retention. Most important is Section 525 which requires you to rescind the mandate that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19 within 30 days of the date of enactment of H.R. 7776. (Emphasis added.)
The Department was well aware of this coming change and, hopefully, has plans to clearly communicate the end of the mandate for all members of the Armed Forces.
Please provide the Committee with your plan to implement this statutory requirement. Such plan should be sent to Dr. Glendon Diehl, a member of my staff, no later than December 31, 2022.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I look forward to working with you in the coming 118th Congress.
The Biden administration mandated in August 2021 that all service members be fully vaccinated or face discharge, and refused to reconsider its policy after resistance from tens of thousands of service members and appeals by Republican lawmakers.
However, Republicans were able to get the mandate rescinded as part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed both the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Friday.
The repeal goes into effect 30 days from the bill’s enactment, but the Pentagon has not released any information on its plans to comply with the law and what it means for troops who are currently affected by the mandate.
At least 8,400 troops were involuntarily discharged over the mandate, and Republicans say they will take up the issue of potential reinstatement and back pay when they take control of the House next year.