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Rubio, Cruz Introduce Americans Act to Defend Service Members From Vaccine Punishment

May 11, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act of 2022. The legislation would counter the Biden Administration’s efforts to coerce and punish active duty service members who decline the COVID-19 vaccine, and introduce accountability measures in response to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to undermine transparency. This bill would build upon protections for servicemembers Senator Rubio and colleagues successfully secured in Section 736 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (P.L. 117-81). 
 
“The Biden Administration trusted our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in service to our country, but not with personal medical decisions,” Rubio said. “It is vindictive and wrong. We need to protect these brave Americans and ensure they are treated with the respect they deserve.” 
 
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the Biden administration is trying to coerce our men and women in uniform to violate their conscience and religious beliefs, let alone on an issue as polarizing as the COVID-19 vaccine,” Cruz said. “The AMERICANS Act will ensure that these and similar efforts to politicize our military on this issue are blocked.”
 
Click here for a full list of original cosponsors.
 
Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require the Secretary of Defense to make every effort to retain unvaccinated service members, strengthen language to ensure service members receive discharge classifications commensurate with their record of service; 
  • Require the DoD to report the number and type of COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions that have been denied, and create an exemption from COVID-19 vaccine requirements for service members with natural immunity; and
  • Protect service academy students and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps members in the same way.

 
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