Dec. 8 (UPI) — The Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution nullifying President Joe Biden‘s vaccine mandate for large employers, possibly handing him a rare defeat on policies he has pushed to curb the coronavirus.
Senators Joe Machin, D-W.Va., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., Democrats representing red states, are expected to cross the aisle and vote for the proposal, giving the Republicans a 52-48 advantage for passage.
The Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act, which allows a fast-track process in the Senate for the minority party to force a vote on a resolution to disapprove of a federal rule.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he stood behind Biden’s efforts as most Democrats.
“The position to me is pretty clear and that is that the more people that are vaccinated, the safer America will be, and we should encourage everything we can do to do it,” Schumer said, according to The Hill newspaper. “That is the overwhelming view of the president and of the vast majority of Democrats.”
In September, Biden directed the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate that their workers are either fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19 and wear masks.
The rule resulted in lawsuits from Republican-led states and private employers but also from liberal-leaning unions.