U.S. lower house endorses bill striking down mandatory COVID19 vaccination in the military

A U.S. soldier prepares a dose of vaccine to give to another soldier. – CRÉDITO: U.S. NAVY / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a legislative proposal that would end mandatory coronavirus vaccination in the military, along with an $858 billion funding injection for defense.

The initiative, with broad support from Republicans and Democrats — with 350 in favor and 80 opposed — will now move to the Senate before reaching the desk of U.S. President Joe Biden and becoming law.

The proposal has been a demand of Republicans since the coronavirus health crisis erupted. This week, their leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, celebrated that the end of this mandatory «from President Biden is a victory» both for the Army and «for common sense.»

For the moment, the White House has not confirmed whether Biden will refuse to sign the bill into law, although he has insisted that repealing the ban «is a mistake» since the measure is focused on getting U.S. troops «ready.» Within this $858 billion funding line, some $817 billion would go specifically to the Pentagon’s coffers. The proposal includes a wide range of measures, including a 4.6 percent pay raise for those in the various branches of the Armed Forces, improvements in cybersecurity, infrastructure, as well as more support for Ukraine.