Top Democratic Senator Comes Out Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate, Supports Legislation To Overturn | Eastern North Carolina Now | Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced in a statement on Thursday night that he voted to avert a federal government shutdown and fund the government through February 18, 2022, but that he also strongly opposes vaccine mandates for private businesses from the federal government.

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    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced in a statement on Thursday night that he voted to avert a federal government shutdown and fund the government through February 18, 2022, but that he also strongly opposes vaccine mandates for private businesses from the federal government.

    "In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the new Omicron variant emerges, I will not vote to shut down the government for purely political reasons," Manchin said in a statement. "There is too much at stake for the American people. But let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses."

    "That's why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses," Manchin continued. "I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19. I have personally had both vaccine doses and a booster shot and I continue to urge every West Virginian to get vaccinated themselves."

    The U.S. Senate voted 69-28 on Thursday to pass a bill to continue funding the federal government, thus averting a government shutdown.

    "The Senate acted just hours after the House of Representatives approved the measure, by a vote of 221-212," Reuters reported. "Congress faces another urgent deadline right on the heels of this one. The federal government is approaching its $28.9 trillion borrowing limit, which the Treasury Department has estimated it could reach by Dec. 15. Failure to extend or lift the limit in time could trigger an economically catastrophic default."

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "I am glad that in the end, cooler heads prevailed. The government will stay open and I thank the members of this chamber for walking us back from the brink from an avoidable, needless and costly shutdown."
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