Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he told Joe Biden he must remove the requirement for military servicemen to be vaccinated against COVID for his bill to pass.
Speaking on the Ingraham Angle on Monday, McCarthy explained his recent conversations with the president.
The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is set to be voted on and the pair discussed it when they met in person last week. The bill sets out the policies and funding for various defense agencies, and by not supporting the bill, McCarthy and other Republicans would be defunding the military.
Despite this, McCarthy has said it's essential to have more people joining the military, as it is regularly failing to meet recruitment targets.
The minority leader also insisted it was important for more military men and women to sign up in order to patrol the southern border.
"I told the President, I was very clear from the very beginning," McCarthy said. "If he wants the NDAA, you have got to lift the vaccinate mandate on our military men and women.
"Why? They are not meeting the recruitment goals right now because of this. People are leaving."
McCarthy also called for Republicans to stop working with the Democrats as they would soon control Congress and McCarthy would become majority leader.
"We are 28 days away from Republicans holding the gavel. We would be stronger in every negotiation. So any Republican that is out there trying to work with them is wrong.
"Why would you not wait. Why would you want to work on anything if we have the gavel inside Congress. Wait till we are in charge.
"I told the President if we don't have the lifting of the vaccine, I'll do it in January."
Other Republicans have also voiced their displeasure about this requirement in the bill.
Senator Marsha Blackburn said that Republicans will work to ensure that the NDAA won't allow service members to be fired for not being vaccinated against COVID.
Speaking on Fox News on Friday she said: "What Republicans are doing is working to be certain that we get included in the [NDAA] the ability to keep [the Department of Defense] from firing our men and women in uniform because they are not taking a COVID shot.
Blackburn went on to insinuate that the vaccine is "not like" any other well-known vaccinations, like the one for polio, but didn't elaborate. Members of the U.S. armed forces notably receive an extensive array of vaccinations before they are able to serve.
As many as nine vaccinations are already mandatory for all service members to have before initial entry or basic training.
This includes adenovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal, poliovirus, tetanus-diphtheria, varicella.
More vaccinations, in addition to these, are administered depending on the risk and occupation of the person.
Service members can request to opt out of a mandatory vaccination on health, administrative or religious grounds. These exemptions can be temporary or permanent.
Newsweek has contacted Kevin McCarthy for comment.
idletooth on December 6th, 2022 at 17:29 UTC »
This guy’s going to get thrown and twisted around by the lunatics in his caucus like a fucking ragdoll.
feather_rider_562 on December 6th, 2022 at 17:27 UTC »
Isn’t this the side screaming about “defunding” the police?
Nitrofox87 on December 6th, 2022 at 17:24 UTC »
I like this game of chicken. Bet you McCarthy blinks first