Rick Scott calls to lift military vaccine mandate; threatens military budget vote

by | Nov 30, 2022

  • Senator Rick Scott, alongside political heavyweights Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and nine additional lawmakers are calling for the removal of the military’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate 
  • The group of GOP Senators are threatening to withhold cooperation on the passing of the annual defense budget if a vote is not brought to the Senate floor
  • Should the amendment be voted on, and passed, it would reinstate discharged military personnel and provide back pay for missed time

Florida Senator Rick Scott (R), alongside Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and a series of additional lawmakers, wrote to Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday to call for the end of involuntary military discharges for unvaccinated service personnel.

The group of Republican Senators writes to McConnell demanding that, in exchange for moving forward with a year-end military spending measure, party leaders in the Senate force a vote to repeal the military’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Should the amendment be brought to a vote, it would include stipulations that require leaders to reinstate discharged members of the military, as well as provide back pay for missed time.

“We have to acknowledge that our military men and women have rights, not just our Commander in Chief,” said Scott during a Wednesday press conference. “We have got to make sure we listen to them and stop this. We have got to prohibit involuntary separation, [and] we have to reinstate these individuals with back pay.”

According to the Office of Rick Scott. approximately 3,400 troops have been discharged from the military as of April 2022 for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The letter additionally arises concerns about military spending, stating that while training costs vary between each service, the Army estimates it spends $15,000 in recruiting costs to bring someone into the service and another $50,000 to $75,000 to prepare them to join their first unit, depending on their job.

“The Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country…While the Department of Defense certainly must make decisions that will bolster military readiness, the effects of the mandate are antithetical to the readiness of our force, and the policy must be revoked,”  the Senators wrote.

According to Politico, the topline for the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act’s budget is $847 billion for national defense and may reach $858 billion if programs that are not under the control of the Senate and House Armed Services committees are included.

Though the group of twelve Senators carries considerable political sway given the names it is made up of, it’s unknown whether Scott, Cruz, and company will be able to sway enough lawmakers to force a vote, halting the defense budget’s passing.


  1. Deborah Coffey

    I’m sorry. But, just how many Americans are these Republicans willing to kill in order to further their political careers? A million plus weren’t enough? Imagine what our national security would be like if Covid is allowed to run rampant through our soldiers’ ranks. This is just more grandstanding stupidity and ANTI-pro-life!

  2. Terri

    This is a ridiculous waste of time & just a political stunt. These politicians aren’t complaining about the other 9 mandatory vaccines, one of which is the flu vaccine that is only between 10-60% effective. They just want to keep the Covid issue as a hot button so they can use it later to rile up the base.
    As for reinstating discharged personnel who wouldn’t take the vaccine, no. The main aspect of the military is the ability to follow orders. If those service members refuse orders on something as simple as a shot in the arm, how are they going to be with orders on the battlefield? If they’re reinstated with back pay, that is not only reinforcing that they can disobey orders without repercussions, but also rewarding them for doing so.

  3. E. M.

    Finally! As uniformed service member currently serving it’s a small glimmer of hope that my career will not be ended over this politicized agenda!
    Over the last two years I’ve faced pressure from the chain of command, reprimands, and the constant threat that at any moment I may need facing separation from service due to the fact that I refused the vaccine due to religious beliefs…and I only one of many. I have been refused courses that are required for career development and military readiness in while working within the special operations community. While I have only wanted to serve my country I and never thought for a moment I would have such a backlash for merely following conviction. Those of you that comment in regard to political agenda, of which I am not making any argument to that here, understand you take a side in an agenda one way or another while the men and women truly affected by these political whims are the ones taking the weight of those opinions.

    An immediate removal of this mandate can not come quickly enough. Please stop infusing opinion and politics into an organization that is solely responsible for the protecting the freedoms you enjoy.

  4. Ross Poling

    I been reading the comments and agree and disagree. 1) I think the militaries needs to make sure all the troupes are up to date when it comes to a sickness that can kill and weaken our defense! For Scott, Cruise and Paul which has no idea about anything they complain about. All they know is cover there butts in order to make more money from there office!

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