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Idaho senators vote against business vaccine mandate

The vote passed the Senate 52-48, with two Democratic senators joining the Republicans in opposition to the mandate.

BOISE, Idaho — Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho both voted Wednesday to oppose President Biden's mandate that private businesses with more than 100 workers require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or be regularly tested for the virus.

The Senate resolution passed 52-48, with two Democratic senators joining with all of the Senate Republicans in opposition to the mandate.

However, it's not likely that the House, currently controlled by Democrats, will bring up the resolution for a vote there.

"Vaccines have historically proven to be vital to the public health goal of disease prevention. We had record vaccine development, thanks to American medical ingenuity and Operation Warp Speed. However, a one-size-fits-all federal mandate on vaccines and private business practices is not a reasonable solution now -- or ever. Medical decisions are best left to patients and their doctors. I will continue to fight to ensure the federal government stays within its authorities entrusted to it by the Constitution," Sen. Crapo said.

"The egregious federal overreach exhibited by President Biden's vaccine mandate unfairly burdens our nation's businesses and endangers our individual liberties.  I encourage Idahoans to consult with their healthcare provider about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.  However, getting vaccinated is a decision the federal government cannot make.  Individuals must make this decision themselves," Sen. Risch said.

The AP reports Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Americans who have refused to get vaccinated are the biggest impediment to ending the pandemic. He implied that some of the resistance to mandated vaccines is based on politics.

“Some of the anti-vaxxers here in this chamber remind me of what happened 400 years ago, when people were clinging to the fact that the sun revolved around the Earth. They just didn’t believe science. Or 500 years ago when they were sure the Earth was flat,” Schumer said.

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