The chaos around the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. In the latest saga, Republican lawmakers are mounting pressure on the president to drop, limit, or postpone the vaccine mandate for federal defense contractors.
Republicans fear the country risks a compromise to the national security supply chain without a walk back from the vaccine mandate decision.
One of the key Republican figures asking the president to rescind his decision is Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. He sent a letter to the White House detailing why the president should change his vaccine mandate decision.
The Alabama senator predicts that the mandate could lead to an exodus of workers that would render some contracting firms inoperable. https://t.co/YWMYDdwIKJ
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 26, 2021
Details of Senator Tuberville’s Letter
On Tuesday, Senator Tuberville sent a letter to the White House. He asked the president remove or delay/clarify his vaccine mandate for federal contractors. The senator said the mandate would negatively affect the country’s security if it continues to stand.
He started the letter by saying he has the same desire as the president to see the country overcome the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible. Tuberville continued his letter by saying the president’s vaccine mandate is ill-conceived, short-sighted, and a threat to America’s security.
.@POTUS, I share your desire to see our country through the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible, and, I—like you—have elected to take the vaccine.
But your administration’s mandate is short-sighted, ill-conceived, and threatens our national security. pic.twitter.com/hXJEkz65OF
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) October 26, 2021
Senator Tuberville stated America will be in trouble when the defense workforce loses skilled workers because of the president’s order. He disclosed Alabama employs close to 100,000 federal contractors, with over 5,000 contractors supporting the Department of Defense.
Tuberville further noted these workers render a unique service to the Pentagon that will be hard to replicate. The country risks forfeiting a sizable chunk of its economy and efficiency by losing workers due to the mandate.
Aside from that, there’s a risk employees will decide to leave the workforce because they do not want to take the vaccine. In light of this, there’s going to be an increased worker absence and labor costs.
Tuberville is Not Alone
Senator Tuberville isn’t the only one asking the president to pause his mandate for federal defense contractors. On October 22, close to 12 Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee also requested the White House suspend its vaccine mandate.
These lawmakers petitioned the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Pentagon to stop the vaccine mandate for contractors. Republican lawmakers asked the administration to reconsider the vaccine mandate to protect and preserve the livelihood of civilian contractors, industry partners, and the members of the Armed Forces.
Republicans stated the country would lose key, experienced, and skilled workers over the vaccine mandate. Aside from that, the country would also lose mentorship opportunities if the administration fires these valuable workers.
Furthermore, Republicans said the country stands to lose quality control standards in the long run. In addition, the country will face an endemic cost overrun and rework as years of experience and lessons are not passed down to the next generation.
It is unclear if the president will make exemptions for federal defense contractors at this time. However, it is in the best interest of the country that he does.