Steube Pressures US Naval Academy on Vaccine Mandates

Steube Pressures US Naval Academy on Vaccine Mandates

Republicans seek to chip away at vaccine mandates under Biden

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
November 30, 2022

US Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) is pressuring the US Navy for transparency over their denial of diplomas to US Naval Academy students over their vaccine status.

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) brought forward a lawsuit against the US Navy over their vaccine mandates in late 2021.  Sens. Cruz and Scott fought on the side of religious exemption for soldiers who denied taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Instead of using the popular held argument of personal medical freedoms, Scott alongside his colleagues is branding the mandate as a direct violation of the First Amendment, even implying that the government has a "hostility," towards religion.

As the amicus brief reads, "Religious freedom is fundamental to every American’s liberty, but we have seen in recent years increasing hostility among elected and appointed government officials towards those who seek to exercise that freedom."

Now, religious exemptions could make waves again, as the US Naval Academy is denying Midshipmen from graduating.

Rep. Steube, joined by seven other Republican members of Congress, is now asking for an explanation of their authority or ability to influence the approval of Midshipmen's religious exemption requests relating to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

"Denying diplomas to otherwise qualified Midshipmen based solely on COVID-19 vaccination status would not only be a waste of our country’s four-year investment in Midshipmen who are eager to serve our nation, but could disrupt military readiness in a year that every branch had trouble recruiting. The U.S. Naval Academy must provide full transparency of their process to deny diplomas due to the absurd COVID-19 vaccination mandate, including details of cases where Midshipmen's religious exemption requests were also denied," said Rep. Greg Steube.

Contrary to Scott's push last year to put pressure on the military to lift vaccine mandates, Republicans will soon hold power in the US House.  For Republicans in 2023, cleaning up old vaccine mandates imposed by the Biden Administration could be one of the very high goals on their list for this next Congress.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

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