12.09.21

Daines Pushes Back Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Montana Head Start Workers

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is urging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Montana Head Start employees and volunteers that could force them out of their jobs and threaten access to childcare for families in need.  

“As you know, the rule requires universal masking for those two years and older attending Head Start and mandates all staffers, contractors working directly with children, and volunteers be vaccinated against the coronavirus by January 31, 2022. More than 3,000 children attend Head Start in the state of Montana. Now, this vaccine mandate threatens to disrupt this service for Montana families and communities,” the letter states.

“I have heard that Head Start employees and volunteers in Montana face imminent termination if they do not receive a COVID-19 vaccine. These employees and volunteers do not deserve this threat nor do the families and children who benefit from the program deserve the uncertainty this mandate will cause,” the letter continues.

Read the letter HERE. 

Background:

Daines has been leading efforts in Congress against Biden’s vaccine mandates. 

On December 8, Daines legislative effort to rescind President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate against private businesses passed the U.S. Senate.

On November 15, Daines called on Biden to reverse the vaccine mandate for health care workers, which could cripple and even shut down some of Montana’s hospitals as nurses and other health care workers will be forced to leave their jobs. The most painful consequence will be the harm to Montana patients not able to receive care.  

On November 5, Daines supported Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s lawsuit challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate on Montana small businesses.

On November 3, Daines moved to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandates under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). A CRA is a process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule and must be brought up for a vote by the full Senate regardless of an agreement by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats. To pass, a CRA only needs 51 votes.     

On October 27, Daines called on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reassess the vaccine mandate for Montana firefighters that could inhibit effective forest management and wildfire response in the state. 

On October 12, Neptune Aviation wrote to Daines expressing the burden Biden’s mandate would put on its workforce and firefighting capabilities. Read the letter HERE

On October 18, Daines cosponsored bills to protect Montana workers, small businesses from Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and prevent the federal government from imposing fines, fees or taxes on Montana small businesses that do not adhere to Biden’s mandate.   

On October 25, Daines urged President Biden to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandates which will hurt Montana businesses and threaten the livelihoods of Montana workers.  

In October, Daines cosponsored a bill, the “Stop Vaccine Mandates Act,” to rescind President Biden’s executive order mandating federal contractors and workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the bill text HERE.

On September 16, Daines slammed President Biden for his top-down vaccine mandate, and questioned its constitutionality. 

  

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Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler