Lankford Pushes Senate to Pass His Bill to Stop Biden’s Vaccine Mandates; Democrats Block It
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today brought his Stop Vaccine Mandates Act up for a vote on the Senate floor. Passage of Lankford’s bill was blocked by Democrats. Lankford also spoke on the Senate floor to bring Oklahomans’ struggles with Biden’s vaccine mandate and the ways it is hurting or will hurt them, their families, and their businesses as deadlines loom.
Lankford introduced the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act to repeal President Biden’s Executive Order that mandates vaccines for federal employees and federal contractors. Lankford has been vocal about President Biden’s Executive Order. He sent a letter to President Biden outlining his concerns with the vaccine mandates and has stood firmly with Oklahoma service members, health care workers, federal employees, and private-sector workers who have chosen so far not to be vaccinated. Lankford is also prepared to champion efforts to disapprove of any rules mandating vaccines for private companies and their employees and also introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevent Act to prohibit the Department of Defense from giving service members a dishonorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Lankford immediately opposed Biden’s vaccine mandate when it was announced in early September. Lankford received the vaccine and continues to encourage Oklahomans to get the vaccine. But he does not believe anyone should be forced to choose between their job and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lankford penned an op-ed last month on how Biden’s vaccine mandate and insistence that everyone should just “do what he says” looks more like something from the communist Chinese government or Putin’s Russia, not the United States.
On the President’s patience being the determining factor for issuing the vaccine mandates
…The reason I came to the floor today was because on September 9, the President of the United States took to the microphone and told the American people his patience was wearing thin was the comment he made to the American people. ‘My patience is wearing thin. Therefore, I’m going to start mandating that individuals across the country have to receive a vaccine,’ to which he then put out an Executive Order across to federal workers in particular and told federal workers they would have to have a vaccine by the end of this year, to be fully vaccinated…
On Lankford’s six-week fight against Biden’s vaccine mandates
…For six weeks I have talked about this. For six weeks I have made phone calls to every entity that I can make phone calls. Written letters, brought legislation. For six weeks I’ve brought these issues up and said, this is the real problem that’s out there. For six weeks I’m not being heard on this, and there are Americans in my great state that are now having to decide if they’re going to leave a career they love, serving their neighbors or if they’re going to be compelled to take a vaccine risk just because the President has said, ‘My patience is wearing thin.’…
…It’s been six weeks of chaos and unanswered questions, and this federal government is about to fire thousands of federal employees because they did not bend to their will. Many federal employees that asked for medical exemption and were told no, literally that brought a letter from their doctor and were told no. Individuals that asked for religious accommodation and were told no, they will not get it. It’s one thing to say it’s offered. it’s another thing to say it was actually extended….
On some of the chaos Oklahomans face from the vaccine mandate rollout
…People that worked remotely throughout this entire time of COVID and continue to work remotely are a little confused why they’re being mandated to have a vaccine. Individuals that have already had COVID and have recovered are confused why they are be mandated to do this. Individuals with medical accommodations that have asked for those that literally are showing up with paperwork from their physician saying, this person is currently under cancer treatments, they do not need to have the vaccine at this point during their moment of treatments, are being told by some people, ‘No, that doesn’t count.’…
On some of the real-life consequences facing Oklahomans if people leave or get fired for refusing the vaccine
…In the meantime, real families in real-life situations are dealing with the consequences of the debris field behind this. One of my Social Security agencies in my state, folks that take care of those folks, at the Social Security office to get their card to them, to get questions to them about Social Security—one of them, there are eight employees in that little spot. Four of the folks are talking about leaving because they’re concerned about the vaccine mandate and they’re not getting their questions answered. If that happens, the folks in that part of my state will not be able to get their Social Security card, will not be able to get their answers. So, what’s happening?…
…Many federal union workers are contacting my office saying, what in the world? This was not part of our collective bargaining agreement. Literally, the President is adding a new element to our collecting bargaining agreement after the fact and saying, I know you’re a union member, but your local unions are not going to represent you, and they haven’t, and they’re going to their stewards, they’re going to others and saying, hey, I need somebody to represent me here in this and they’re telling them, no. The President just inserted something into our collective bargaining agreement and you can do nothing about it. And federal union employees are ticked because they thought their union represented them, not the President of the United States….
…I stood last week and talked to individuals that worked for American Airlines. who are really concerned and frustrated, who loved working with American Airlines, but are now receiving a mandate coming down on them that they are digging in and saying I’m not going to do it. I’ve already had COVID. I’ve recovered. I have natural immunity. why am I being asked to do this as well. and they’re getting only that the President is mandating it. and we do federal work, and so it’s going to be required. It’s the same thing happening to packing companies, to manufacturers, to small businesses around the country….
…Let me just read you a story. One employee that called our office last week is currently in cancer treatment for the fourth time and is receiving an experimental treatment. She’s being told she will be terminated from her job November 24 if she doesn’t get vaccinated because the President is requiring it on everyone. that does not sound like an accommodation that’s occurring because of medical accommodations….
…This particular nursing home that we talked to, 20 percent of her employees have said that they will not take the vaccine. this particular nursing home in a rural area will close and expose all of those residents and their families to chaos because Biden said, “I’m losing patience.’ It is one thing to say we need to be able to push back on this pandemic. i absolutely agree. it is another thing to irrationally close down nursing homes that are taking care of patients that, by the way, were filled with people, frontline workers that put their life at risk last year to serve people and now to push those people out and fire them this year?
…I, just this weekend, received an e-mail that was a long e-mail from a very shy physician in one of our major hospitals in Tulsa. She told me flat-out, ‘I don’t seek personal attention. I don’t do media stuff.’ In fact, she said, ‘I don’t even have social media at all.’ But she detailed out her health care decisions and what was going on in her own life and said, ‘I do not want to receive this vaccine.’ And as a physician at a major hospital in Tulsa, she’s about to lose her job because President Biden’s patience is running thin. what do her patients do next?
On President Biden’s dangerous game of “chicken” with the American people
…Mr. President, don’t play chicken with our families. This is real to them. They do not need to lose their job because they have medical conditions, religious accommodations, or they have natural immunity. They’ve suffered through COVID once, and now you’re going to fire them? For that? Let’s have a real dialogue, not a rushed my-patience-is-wearing-thin.