There's new pushback against President Biden's vaccine mandate for private businesses – a bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate has voted to repeal it.
All 50 Republicans in the Senate, along with two Democrats who crossed party lines, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and John Tester of Montana, rejected the president's "vaccine-or-test" mandate aimed at private employees.
"We've sent a very clear bipartisan message on behalf of the people that this mandate needs to be stopped," said Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND).
Under Biden's order, all private businesses with more than 100 employees were being forced to have their workers either fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing by January 4, 2022.
Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun led the effort to repeal the rule, arguing that the risks of spreading the virus in the workplace are minimal.
"Then you have a brainstorm like this: you either get the vaccine or you get tested or you lose your job if you choose to do neither of the two," Braun said. "That is the heavy hand of government, that is overreach."
Efforts to overturn the mandate through the Congress are likely futile. The Democrat-held House doesn't plan to join the Senate in taking up the effort to repeal the mandate, and even if it did, the president says he'll use his veto power to keep it in place.
"Some of the anti-vaxxers here in this chamber remind me of what happened 400 years ago when people were clinging to the fact that the sun revolved around the Earth," Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) lamented.
Still, the idea of mandating a vaccine continues to get pushback from all quarters.
More than a month after New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that city employees in the Big Apple must have their workers fully vaccinated, a Manhattan judge on Tuesday suspended the order, and will hear arguments next week on whether to block the order permanently.
Critics have also been attacking de Blasio's new mandate for private businesses that he announced Monday.
"New York is really rushing this mandate like everybody now, and I just don't think that's right," said Nick Mormando, a New York City business owner.
As for President Biden's federal mandate – it's already faced several setbacks in the courts – and is expected to ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.