Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and seven of his House GOP colleagues introduced a bill on Tuesday that would reinstate all U.S. troops who were fired for refusing to take the mandated COVID-19 vaccine. The legislation would also prevent service members from being discharged over the vaccine in the first place.
In a Tuesday press release, Roy highlighted that President Joe Biden’s “anti-science vaccine mandate” has forced “hundreds of battle-ready service members” to be “separated from the Armed Forces so far.”
“Worse, the Department of Defense (DOD) has denied many medical and religious exemptions, which has resulted in forcing service members to choose either their faith or livelihoods,” Roy added.
The release said the bill is designed to “protect our men and women of the Armed Forces from the vaccine mandate that the Biden Administration has implemented on the Pentagon.”
“Because of President Biden’s power-hungry, anti-science COVID-19 vaccine mandate, hundreds of valuable American service members are being forced out of our military, taking with them years of subject-matter expertise, careers of selfless sacrifice, and lifelong dreams of military service. This is strategically foolish, profoundly unamerican, and completely unacceptable,” Roy said in a statement. “I introduced the Service Restoration Act to ensure that the brave men and women of our armed forces are not fired over this wrong-headed mandate — whether it be for a medical, religious, conscientious or any reason — and that those already dismissed are able to get back to honorably serving their country with their time of service and their records rightfully restored.”
Roy’s press release stated that the bill also:
- Blocks federal funds from being used to force members of the US military to take the COVID-19 vaccine
- Says the Secretary must reinstate members of the US military “who wish to return to duty at the same rank”
- Requires the Secretary to “still count the service members’ time separated from the military towards their retirement benefits”
- Compels the Secretary to “expunge from the service members’ record any adverse action due to refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine”
The legislation’s cosponsors include Reps Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Bill Posey (R-FL), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Van Taylor (R-TX), and Bob Good (R-VA).
As of the end of January, thousands of US troops have been punished and hundreds have been kicked out for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. During a rally last week, former President Donald Trump called for the rehiring of all U.S. troops who were discharged over the jab.
“Next year, a Republican Congress should pass a bill rehiring every single member of the military who was cruelly and wrongfully terminated by Joe Biden and his ridiculous COVID mandate and force the Pentagon to give these patriots an apology and full back pay,” Trump said to cheers from a massive crowd of supporters in Texas.
“It’s time for the American people to declare independence from every last COVID mandate,” he added. “We have to tell this band of hypocrites, tyrants, and racists we’re done with having them control our lives, mess with our children, and close our businesses — we’re moving on from COVID whether they like it or not, we’re moving on.”