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Tester joins Senate Republicans in voting against Biden vaccine rule for large employers

Courtesy Sen. Tester's office.

Montana’s senior U.S. senator joined Republicans Wednesday in a mostly symbolic vote to nullify the Biden administration's vaccine rule for large employers.

Democrat Jon Tester said before the vote that he opposes the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than 100 employees.
He says Montanans tell him mandates hurt their bottom lines and the state’s overall economy.
"That’s why I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending Montana jobs and small businesses by voting against these burdensome regulations," Tester said in a statement explaining his vote.

Despite his opposition to mandates, he urged Montanans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Tester was joined by fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who also voted to overturn the Biden mandate. The final vote was 52-48.

Montana’s Republican U.S senator welcomed Tester’s position. Steve Daines encourages his counterpart to oppose all of the administration’s vaccine mandates.

Anything short of that, Daines said, renders Tester's announcement as little more than “a show vote."

Federal courts have temporarily halted the mandate for large employers.
Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Updated: December 9, 2021 at 10:39 AM MST
Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.