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Rubio, Scott Urge Pentagon Freeze COVID-19 Vaccine-related Discharges, Reinstate Discharged Service Members With Back Pay

Dec 20, 2022 | Press Releases

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 will eliminate the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for service members once it becomes law.  
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL), and their colleagues, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging the Defense Department to freeze all COVID-19 vaccine-related discharges while the FY23 NDAA awaits the president’s signature, and establish an efficient process to reinstate service members that were discharged for refusing the vaccine, compensating them with back pay and full benefits.  
Senator Rubio supported an amendment to the FY23 NDAA that would have provided for reinstatement with back pay and benefits, but the amendment was shot down by Senate Democrats during consideration of the bill on the Senate floor.
Click here for a full list of signers.

  • “Thousands of brave men and women were harmed because of the Pentagon’s misguided approach to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.”
  • “All branches of our military are facing significant recruiting problems, including problems arising from the vaccine requirement. Therefore, it is in our readiness and security interests to keep these brave men and women within our ranks. Moving forward with discharges over a requirement that has been rescinded by Congress would be deeply misguided.”

Want more information? Read the full letter here.