WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is joined by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) on the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss the Biden COVID vaccine mandates affecting Americans across the country.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.
Madam President, it is no secret that President
Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates have drawn major opposition here in
the Senate.My Republican colleagues and I have introduced multiple
pieces of legislation that chip away at the various impractical,
unethical, and downright unconstitutional aspects of this latest power
Grab. Last week, I introduced the Keeping our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act,
which would pull essential workers out from under these mandates and
stop the White House from unilaterally firing them for refusing to
submit to a shot. Think about how ludicrous that is. This, of course,
is the heart of the issue.
These pieces of legislation are not anti-vaccine. In fact, our
opposition isn't about vaccines at all. I have been vaccinated, and I
encourage people to talk to their physicians. This is all about the
precedent the Biden administration is trying to set; namely, that it is acceptable for the Federal Government to stand between a patient and their doctor and to overrule science and personal choice in the name of their personal political agenda.
I think my colleague Senator Marshall knows a thing or two about
preserving the importance of that doctor-patient relationship. Is that correct, Senator?
Mr. MARSHALL. It is, indeed. Thank you so much, the senior Senator
from Tennessee, for asking me about something so near and dear to my
heart--the patient-physician relationship. I just want to start my remarks by saying that I support the vaccine. I support the vaccine, but I also support an individual's right to
decide whether he wants the vaccine or not. That is why I think it is
so important to have this patient-physician relationship.
I had the duty and the honor to treat thousands of women with a
virus. I learned very quickly that the same virus could cause different
problems for different patients, and it was based on their previous
medical histories and their underlying medical problems as to what my
advice might be.
What my concern today is, is that so many of these heroes of
yesterday, the COVID-19 heroes of yesterday, are now being treated so
poorly. They are being told to get the jab or else lose their jobs.
This mandate is going to lead to unemployment. It is going to lead to
more inflation and further disrupt our supply chain. I just wish I
could paint a face of all of these people from Kansas who are reaching
out to me, saying: Please don't make me make this choice between the
jab or my job.
I think of the nurses whom I worked with in Liberal, KS, when the ICU
was overflowing. I think of the nuclear engineer folks and the union
workers at Wolf Creek Nuclear energy who kept our electricity on. I
think of those union workers who work for the Department of Defense
contracts in the aerospace industry, and now they are being kicked in
the face. They are being told that they are no longer essential, that
they are no longer heroes.
Senator Blackburn, I am supposing there are heroes in Tennessee who
are now being forgotten as well.
Yes, indeed. You are correct, Senator Marshall.
As I have said before, Tennessee is a supply chain and logistic
State: shipping, transportation, manufacturing. These are things that
help form the backbone of our economy, and those industries employ
thousands upon thousands of people in our State.
I will tell you, these thousands of people are speaking up, just as
you have said they are speaking up in Kansas. Every day, I hear from
people who see what is happening on the ground, from small business
owners to truckdrivers, and they are sounding the alarm bells. They
know that Joe Biden's mandate will destroy their industries. They are
just not asking for carve-outs; what they are saying is, give us a plan
A, a plan B, a plan C; give us options.
Senator Marshall, I believe you have taken a different approach to
pushing back on some of these mandates.
Mr. MARSHALL. Well, thank you Senator. Indeed, there are more options
out there. There are, indeed, more tools in the tool shed that we can
use. We plan to oppose any efforts to enforce Joe Biden's vaccine
mandate with all the other tools at our disposal, including blocking
cloture on any continuing resolution in the absence of language
protecting Americans from the mandates. In fact, 50 GOP Senators
recently supported this as an amendment to the CR in September.
Senator Blackburn, I know that you also would be concerned about
using any type of future funding to enforce this unconstitutional
Yes, indeed, Senator. I am very concerned. The Biden administration has, indeed, weaponized the U.S. Government against workers who love their jobs, against workers who are trying to
earn a living and support their families. We have to stand up and
defend them. Think about it. The Biden administration is using taxpayer
dollars to implement a program designed to fire the very people we need
to repair our supply chains, to bring manufacturing plants back online,
and to keep the public safe.
Yes, our law enforcement officers are very concerned about this, but
don't take my word for it. Ask some of these law enforcement unions.
Ask the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs' Association,
and the National Border Patrol Council what will happen if these
mandates force them to fire their unvaccinated agents and officers.
They are waving red flags right now because these mandates aren't just
impractical and unethical; they are dangerous. They will take these men
and women off the frontlines and send them to the unemployment line and
make us vulnerable.
Am I correct on this point, Senator Marshall?
Senator Blackburn, absolutely. I can't agree with you
One of the big concerns I have is of our safety as well as our
national security. I know that both Tennessee and Kansas have Army and
National Guard units, and I have been told that perhaps half of the
enlisted soldiers have not had their vaccines yet, and I encourage them
to do that. But if they get separated from the military, it is going to
leave a huge hole in our national security.
I am also concerned about those Active-Duty soldiers who are now
being separated from the military as well for refusing the vaccine, and
I am concerned about what is going to happen to their records going
forward. I was so discouraged when I found out the White House
suggested these soldiers get a dishonorable discharge.
In case you don't know what a ``dishonorable discharge'' means, you
could be treated like a felon. You lose your VA benefits, and you may
lose some of your Second Amendment rights and some of your voting
rights as well.
Certainly, again, there is the impact on national security in losing
thousands of our soldiers.
Senator Blackburn, I am sure that you have so many people who are
reaching out to you of the COVID-19 heroes of Tennessee. I appreciate
your bringing this bill to the floor, and I am so happy and honored to
Thank you, Senator.
I am appreciative to the Senator from Kansas and to all of my
colleagues who have joined me on the floor today to fight this
dangerous precedent set by these mandates.
I think it is so vitally important for my colleagues on the other
side of the aisle to understand that the American people are not
interested in playing chicken with Joe Biden--not at all. This isn't
contrarian politics to them; this is a line in the sand between a
power-hungry President who wants to strip them of their fundamental
rights and get them fired from their jobs.