Hoeven, Cruz Introduce Legislation to Change DOD COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in introducing legislation to amend the Department of Defense’s (DoD) current COVID-19 vaccination policies. The Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act of 2022 counters the Biden administration’s efforts to punish servicemembers who decline to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The legislation would require the Secretary of Defense to honor vaccine exemption requests due to a servicemembers’ religious beliefs or underlying health conditions. Additionally, the legislation would adjust the status of servicemembers who have been discharged because of their COVID-19 vaccine status to “honorable discharge” and allow them to seek reinstatement.

“The Biden administration’s overreaching vaccine mandates are the wrong approach,” said Hoeven. “This legislation is about ensuring servicemembers do not face a discharge from our nation’s Armed Forces that could put their benefits at risk, simply due to their vaccination status.” 

In addition to Hoeven and Cruz, the legislation was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Roger Marshall (R-Ks.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

Click here for full text of the legislation.