Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Lead Republican of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, asking that the Department of Defense (DoD) provide Congress with a plan for rescinding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. servicemembers. The James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which was signed into law last week, required DoD to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. servicemembers.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. Secretary:
As you are aware, this morning the President signed H.R. 7776, the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, into law. This important legislation reflects a bipartisan agreement on national security policy and includes a number of important provisions regarding recruitment and retention. Most important is Section 525 which requires you to rescind the mandate that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19 within 30 days of the date of enactment of H.R. 7776.
The Department was well aware of this coming change and, hopefully, has plans to clearly communicate the end of the mandate for all members of the Armed Forces.
Please provide the Committee with your plan to implement this statutory requirement. Such plan should be sent to Dr. Glendon Diehl, a member of my staff, no later than December 31, 2022.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I look forward to working with you in the coming 118th Congress.