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Two GOP Senators File Bill To Reinstate Pilots Terminated Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Two GOP Senators File Bill To Reinstate Pilots Terminated Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Two Republican senators have introduced a bill to reinstate pilots who were fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) announced the bill on Dec. 6, which would compel airlines to rehire those pilots within 30 days of the legislation’s passage.

In 2021, President Joe Biden mandated that all federal contractors, including airlines operating within the U.S., must receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Many pilots refused the shot, which has not been available long enough to establish long-term safety data, and were subsequently fired per Biden’s order.

As of this spring, the Biden administration had eliminated the policy. Yet, pilots still remained out of work.

“No one should have lost their job because they didn’t want to take the COVID vaccine,” Braun said in a joint statement. “President Biden’s vaccine mandates were completely out of line and violated the liberties of key workers who are essential in daily operations of our skies. Cosponsoring this bill to restore fired pilots to their previously held jobs is a no brainer and will help bring this critical industry back to full capacity.”

Even if the bill passes in the senate, it’s future would be uncertain, as 83 House Republicans voted down a similar bill this summer.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) drafted an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reinstate pilots fired for opting out of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill failed by a vote of 141-298.

SCNR reached out to nearly all Republicans who sided with Democrats voting against the legislation. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon was the only legislator who addressed why he did not support the measure.

“I voted against this amendment because it included employees of private companies, not just federal employees,” he said in a written statement. “Mandating a private company to enforce a vaccine mandate or compelling a private company to re-hire an employee are both examples of big government intruding in the actions of private business.”

Bacon added, “Neither are right. The FAA has zero legal authority to compel an airline to hire or rehire someone, and for this reason House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Graves opposed the amendment.”

Marshall, however, co-sponsored the legislation stating that it was an unconstitutional infringement on the liberties of Americans.

“The Biden Administration’s ‘jab or job’ vaccine mandates will go down as a dark time in American history,” Marshall said in the joint statement. “Our legislation seeks to right the wrongs of this administration who forced hard-working American people out of not only their jobs, but their careers.”

“We will continue to fight for every American wronged by the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate that has impacted not only our pilots’ livelihoods but our servicemen and women, our children, small businesses, and beyond. Our bill is just one step of many to correct the wrongs of Joe Biden’s vaccine politics,” he added.

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