Senate votes to repeal Biden federal vaccine mandate for businesses  

The Senate voted Wednesday to repeal a President Biden-backed federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses.   The final vote was 52-48. Moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana joined Republicans to vote in favor of the repeal.  

Republicans brought the repeal to the Senate floor under the “Congressional Review Act,” which allows Congress to review presidential executive orders. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., who sponsored the resolution, said the mandate was an example of the “heavy hand of government” hurting businesses.  

The Biden administration’s mandate requires private companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing. Firms that do not comply face steep fines.  

The mandate prompted immediate legal challenges from several states as well as business and religious groups. Last month, a federal appeals court enacted a temporary hold on enforcement of the mandate pending the outcome of litigation.  

Even with Senate approval, the GOP-backed resolution is unlikely to overturn the mandate. The Democrat-controlled House is not expected to take up the measure and President Biden would likely veto the bill if it cleared Congress.