Washington, D.C.—Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced numerous amendments to the Coast Guard Authorization Act during a markup hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee this week. 19 of Sen. Lee’s amendments were incorporated into the bill passed by the committee.
Additionally, Sen. Lee led the debate surrounding the Coast Guard’s vaccine mandate. Sen. Lee offered an amendment that would have prevented the Coast Guard from discharging service men and women from the U.S. Coast Guard for declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Several members of the Coast Guard are facing discharge at a time when our armed forces are facing personnel shortages.
Lee’s amendment would prohibit the implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the United States Coast Guard, including active duty, reserves, cadets, and civilian workers. The amendment would reinstate members who have been discharged and require the Coast Guard to adopt the CDC’s most recent COVID-19 prevention guidance. The amendment was defeated.
During the markup, Sen. Lee said, “We cannot possibly contemplate allowing the discharge of thousands of our service men and women who have not committed a single crime. To the contrary, they are responsible for saving thousands of American lives each year. These Americans deserve better from us.”