11.15.21

Daines to Biden: Vaccine Mandate Threatens to Cripple Hospitals, Hurt Montanans Seeking Health Care

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is calling on President 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. 

“While I am pro-vaccine and encourage all Montanans to discuss getting the vaccine with their doctor, I do not believe top-down federal mandates are the right approach, especially as our nation continues to face labor shortages. … Unfortunately, your Administration’s federal vaccine mandate not only undermines these personal decisions, but also threatens the ability for our health care facilities to meet the needs of the ongoing pandemic and provide routine care,” Daines writes.

“I have heard from medical providers across Montana that have been on the frontlines of this pandemic, including in our rural communities, who are bracing for an unprecedented workforce crisis due to the mandate. … I urge you to fully consider the impact of CMS’ regulation on patient access to care and to rescind CMS’s emergency regulation immediately,” Daines continued.

Read the full letter HERE.

Daines has heard concerns from Montanans across the state on this issue, including health care workers from Northern Montana Health Care in Hill County, Granite County Medical Center in Granite County, Garfield County Health Center in Garfield County and the Phillips County Ambulance Service in Phillips County.

Daines has also heard from several nurses across the state from hospitals including the Rehabilitation Hospital of Montana in Yellowstone County, RiverStone Health in Yellowstone County, Billings Clinic in Yellowstone County, Community Medical Center in Missoula County, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital in Gallatin County, Bitterroot Health-Daly Hospital in Ravalli County and Holy Rosary Healthcare in Custer County.

 

Background: 

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

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.  

In October, 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