NASHVILLE, Tennessee – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced in a statement to The Tennessee Star that she will introduce new legislation to prohibit federal funds from being utilized to implement any requirement that a member of the National Guard receives a vaccination against COVID-19.
Blackburn’s legislation is unveiled as up to 40,000 U.S. Army National Guard members nationwide are set to be fired on Thursday for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine unless the Biden administration reverses course.
“Our servicemembers are the bedrock of America,” Blackburn said. “Firing 40,000 Guardsmen for refusing the COVID vaccine would be both a complete disgrace and a threat to our national security. I am honored to stand beside our National Guardsmen and women by introducing this legislation to protect them from President Biden’s forever pandemic.”
According to the statement, Senator Blackburn’s legislation accomplishes the following:
- Prohibits any federal funds from being utilized to implement the COVID vaccine requirement;
- Prohibits the Secretary of Defense from taking any adverse action against Guard members for refusing the vaccine, including retaliation, punishment, or disparate treatment;
- Does not impinge on the authority or rights of state governors in their role as commanders of their National Guards but protects servicemembers from unilateral federal mandates; and
- Does not limit the ability of a commander to consult with a superior in the chain of command, an inspector general, or a judge advocate general on the disposition of a complaint regarding a member of the National Guard for a matter unrelated to COVID vaccine refusal.
Text of Blackburn’s U.S. Senate bill reads as follows:
A BILL To prohibit any requirement that a member of the National Guard receive a vaccination against COVID–19.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. PROHIBITIONS ON REQUIREMENT THAT A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD RECEIVE A VACCINATION AGAINST COVID–19.
(a) PROHIBITION ON FUNDING.—No Federal funds may be used to require a member of the National Guard to receive a vaccination against COVID–19.
(b) PROHIBITION ON ADVERSE ACTION.—The Secretary of Defense may not take any adverse action against a member of the National Guard because such member refuses to receive a vaccination against COVID–19.
(c) ADVERSE ACTION DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘adverse action’’ includes the following:
(3) Disparate treatment.
Previously reported, Blackburn told The Star on Tuesday that she strongly supports the Tennessee National Guard soldiers who are about to be fired due to noncompliance with a vaccine mandate on Thursday.
“I stand with the men and women of the Tennessee National Guard. I’m actually working on legislation that would prohibit the National Guard from using any taxpayer funds to implement this mandate,” Blackburn said.
“To remove someone from service, which will be a decision of the National Guard Bureau, is completely inappropriate,” she added.
– – –
Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, Truth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by Marsha Blackburn.