Kevin McCarthy says President Biden ‘worked with him’ to lift military COVID vaccine mandate

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) furthered his push to get elected as Speaker of the House for the upcoming 118th Congress on Sunday with a demand for specific vaccine mandate language to be included in the nearly $1 trillion defense spending bill.

(Video: Fox News)

America’s military has continued to shrink under the leadership of President Joe Biden partially through attrition as recruitment for fiscal year 2022 fell 75 percent short of the target goal. While some of this could be attributed to the progressive shift in the armed forces–lowering fitness standards, promoting Marxist ideologies, and muddying the operational objectives–the imposition of a widely considered unconstitutional COVID vaccine mandate has hampered those goals as well.

As such, while joining Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy set forth that “The bill will not move” without language that removes the mandate despite it being set forth unilaterally by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“I had a meeting with the president, I laid out very clearly what the difference will be with a new Republican majority,” the California lawmaker expressed. “And we’re working through what is the [National Defense Authorization Act], the national defense bill. We will secure lifting that vaccine mandates on our military.”

Making note of recent meetings with Biden, McCarthy claimed, “I’ve been very clear with the president. The president…worked with me on this.”

What the would be-speaker did not address were the concessions that he would make in agreeing to vote for passage of the NDAA.

“This is the first sign of having divided government. You got some compromise here and we’ve got something that the Republicans have been working very hard, and a number of Democrats too, trying to find success,” he stated, “but one-party rule would never allow that to go forward and now we’re gonna have success.”

McCarthy’s announcement followed previously reported efforts from conservatives in Congress setting forth that an amendment must be included in the NDAA to see to the end of military discharges over COVID vaccination status.

Along with a letter from Senate Republicans that included Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) the members held a press conference where Paul said, “The Biden administration’s vaccination mandate has forced our nation’s young patriotic men and women to choose between their faith and their career, between their medical autonomy and their career.”

“Congress should take action, and we’re taking action today by saying we will not vote to get on the NDAA, the defense authorization bill, unless we have a vote on ending this military vaccine mandate,” he went on.

House Republicans Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Bob Good (Va.), Barry Moore (Ala.) and Chip Roy (Texas) similarly sent a letter that read in part, “[T]he NDAA must immediately end the DoD’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members. President Biden declared on September 19, 2022, that ‘the pandemic is over.’ The COVID-19 vaccine does not prevent transmission or infection of the virus.”

Meanwhile, Austin reminded reporters Saturday, “We lost a million people to this virus. A million people died in the United States of America. We lost hundreds in DoD. So this mandate,” he claimed, “has kept people healthy.”

The SecDef added that he was responsible for the mandate and said, “I’m the guy.”

Full details of the NDAA are expected to be released Monday.

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