Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA-6) explains his opposition to mandatory Covid vaccines for members of the Armed Forces, including National Guard and Reserves:
I have consistently opposed the retaliatory efforts of this Administration that punishes servicemembers for holding true to their sincerely held beliefs and will continue to do so. Considering that 11% of National Guardsmen and Reservists remain unvaccinated, denying authorization to participate in training and reducing the pay and benefits for these servicemembers would hinder our own readiness and capabilities.
To date, I have cosponsored several bills to protect our guardsmen and reservists including H.R. 5892, the Our Veterans Earned It Act, which prohibits members of the Armed Forces who refuse a COVID-19 vaccination from being denied a federal benefit they are entitled to because of their service, and H.R. 5908, the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act, which would nullify the executive orders made by the Biden administration that required a vaccine mandate
Additionally, I joined 50 Members of Congress in writing Defense Secretary Lloyd concerning procedures under which service-members may be exempted from the Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This letter can be viewed in more detail here.
I also joined several of my fellow Virginia colleagues in Congress and Governor Youngkin in writing Secretary Austin, arguing that “the current [mandatory vaccine] directive is not consistent with the latest science, is not in the best interest of Guard readiness, and is subject to significant legal challenges.” If you would like to examine this letter in more detail, it can be viewed here.