Results of the military vaccine mandate:
Army cutting 12K positions
40% of males aged 18-24 ineligible to join the military
Only 58 religious exemptions out of 22K requests
— Rep. Mike Johnson (@RepMikeJohnson) June 22, 2022
June 22, 2022 | Congressman Mike Johnson |
Johnson Introduces Amendment to Annual National Defense Legislation to Rescind Secretary Austin’s Waiver to Serve as Defense Secretary Unless the Department of Defense COVID Vaccine Mandate is Repealed Within 30 Days
United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today introduced an amendment to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act which would require Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to repeal the COVID vaccine mandate for servicemembers within 30 days. If Secretary Austin does not repeal the mandate, his waiver to serve as Secretary of Defense would be repealed.
“There’s a rather lengthy list of things that have gone wrong under Secretary Austin’s tenure at the Department of Defense, starting with the Biden Administration’s catastrophic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Johnson said.“Perhaps nothing has been more damaging than the COVID vaccine requirement for servicemembers which is forcing qualified people out of our armed forces and preventing qualified people from joining our armed forces.”
Congressman Johnson introduced the amendment for a vote during the House Armed Services Committee vote on the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment was rejected by Committee Democrats.
Background on the amendment:
- Under current law, no person may serve as Secretary of Defense unless he or she is at least 7 years removed from military service. This cooling off period is intended to serve as a safeguard to civilian control of the military.
- In January 2021, Congress voted to grant Lloyd Austin a waiver from this requirement so he could serve as Secretary of Defense even though his 7-year cooling off period had not lapsed.
- Johnson’s amendment would require the Secretary of Defense to repeal the COVID vaccine mandate for servicemembers within 30 days. If he does not repeal the mandate, his waiver to serve as Secretary of Defense would be rescinded.
- Out of approximately 22,000 applications for a religious exemption to the vaccine, approximately 58 have been granted across all of the services.
- The Army has asked to cut 12,000 positions in their budget this year.
- More than 40% of males aged 18-24, the target demographic for the military, have chosen not to become fully vaccinated and—as a result—are ineligible to join the military.
- In the Southeastern United States, where DOD recruits approximately 50% of its enlistments, over half of the male population hasn’t gotten the vaccine.
- The mandate is clearly forcing qualified people out of the armed forces, and it’s preventing qualified people from joining the armed forces.
Congressman Johnson is the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, and a former constitutional law litigator.