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Simpson Votes to Drop COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in Defense Bill

Simpson Votes to Drop COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. After final negotiations with the Senate, the bill includes a critical provision revoking the COVID-19 vaccinate mandate for active and reserve component servicemembers and ends servicemember separations for failure to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“The United States needs a strong military to protect against the growing threats facing our nation. I have heard from countless Idahoans who are concerned over the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for servicemembers,” said Simpson. “I have long supported efforts to end the mandate and remove this burden to our military’s readiness. I am pleased to see President Biden’s misguided mandate come to an end with this legislation.”

Annual NDAA legislation authorizes Department of Defense (DoD) programs crucial to the performance and safety of our military, including pay increases and benefits to military members and their families. Additional highlights of the FY 23 NDAA include:

  • A 4.6% pay increase for servicemembers;
  • Funding for military construction and military family housing, to help military families cope with inflation;
  • Funding to counter Chinese and Russian aggression; and
  • Expanded mental health services and suicide prevention programs for servicemembers.

Notably, the bill contains no abortion-related provisions, no climate change provisions, and is in line with the Trump administration’s previous funding goals.

“I am proud to honor the men and women in our military by supporting the NDAA and providing the resources and equipment they need to serve and protect our nation,” said Simpson.

The conference report passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 350-80 and now awaits Senate approval before heading to the President’s desk for signature.