- House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy met with President Joe Biden last week and said he was ‘clear’ about how his party would handle the House majority
- He said Biden ‘worked with’ him on relaxing the military COVID shot rule
- Republicans have been pushing to end the mandate for months
- A Democrat told Politico on Saturday that such a measure in the new National Defense Authorization Act could potentially be on the table
By ELIZABETH ELKIND, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
President Joe Biden has agreed to end the US military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested on Sunday.
McCarthy, who is expected to be House Speaker in the new Congress, told Fox News‘ Sunday Morning Futures that he spoke with the president about a provision to end the rule included in this year’s annual defense budget.
Republicans have been pushing for months to end the military’s two-jab rule, arguing that its depletion of America’s fighting forces presents a threat to national security.
Now that they’ve secured a narrow House majority for next year, McCarthy said he made clear to Biden that there will need to be areas of ‘compromise’ for any hope of legislative success.
‘I had a meeting with the president, I laid out very clearly what the difference will be with a new Republican majority,’ McCarthy said.
‘Through what is the [National Defense Authorization Act], the national defense bill, we will secure lifting the vaccine mandates on our military.’
The California Republican said he was ‘very clear’ with Biden on House Republican priorities – like holding the NDAA hostage until the vaccine rule repeal is included.
‘The bill will not move’ if the language isn’t in it, McCarthy promised.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested on Sunday that ending the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military personnel could be the first area of compromise in the new divided government.
‘I’ve been very clear with the president. The president…worked with me on this.’
He continued, ‘This is the first sign of having divided government. You’ve got some compromise here. And we’ve got something that the Republicans have been working very hard on, and a number of Democrats too, trying to find success, but one party rule would never allow that to go forward. And now we’re going to have success.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment.
Last week a group of Republican senators sent a letter to their leaders including Mitch McConnell telling them they would not consider the NDAA without first taking a vote on a measure to end the military vaccine mandate.
More than 3,000 troops have been rendered inactive as of this past April with the rule going into effect, according to the letter co-led by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Lawmakers claim the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate ‘has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country.’
The two-jab COVID rule was first announced in late August on the order of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.