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Congress moves to repeal Pentagon vaccine mandate in blow to White House


Congressional Democrats have included a Republican-backed measure to repeal President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members, dealing a severe blow to the White House.

The decision follows Mr. Biden’s siding with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in opposition to repealing the mandate after initially signaling that he would consider the proposal after speaking with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, over the weekend.

More than a dozen Senate Republicans said last week that they would oppose a procedural vote to advance the $847 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unless the chamber votes on a measure to dismantle the mandate and reinstate those who have been separated from the military for refusing the jab.

Mr. McCarthy also told the Fox News program “Sunday Morning Futures” that the NDAA “will not move” unless the mandate is lifted.

The move by Republicans on Capitol Hill to end the mandate followed calls by 21 Republican governors that Congress “take immediate action to remove and prohibit” the vaccine mandate through the NDAA or a separate measure.

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