Congress on track to scrap Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in defense bill

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. military would no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a proposal Congress could pass as soon as this week. 

The provision eliminating the vaccine mandate is tucked into the massive National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that Congress has passed each year for more than 60 years. Lawmakers released this year’s version late Tuesday following months of negotiations. 

Erasing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is seen as a significant victory for Republicans, especially amid unified Democratic control of Washington.