Congress must pass another funding bill for the federal government before midnight Friday. But several Senate Republicans have vowed to vote against any funding bill unless the Senate also agrees to withhold funding from the enforcement of Biden’s employer vaccine mandate, which requires all businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate either vaccination against COVID-19 or weekly testing.
“The vaccine mandate is going to shut down our businesses in this country, which is going to further disrupt the economy,” said Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. “If it was a choice between shutting down the government for a couple of days versus shutting down businesses, better off to shut down the government.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, agreed and said shutting down the federal government is the better alternative to shutting “down the American workforce.”
“Between a quarter and a third of the workers in many, many states are currently at risk of losing their jobs … under the dictatorial command of a president acting outside the scope of his statutory or constitutional authority,” he told Fox News on Wednesday.
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has insisted the government will not shut down.
“I think we’re gonna be OK,” he said on Wednesday after he revealing he had negotiated a tentative “deal” with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
When asked about Republicans’ shutdown threats, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed their concerns as an “absurdity.”
“They’re upset about our efforts to save peoples’ lives,” she claimed. “I’ll just leave that there.”
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki hits at “absurdity” of Republicans threatening to allow government shutdown over vaccine mandates:
“They’re upset about our efforts to save peoples lives. I’ll just leave that there.” pic.twitter.com/rj1bLAe9SM
— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2021