House Votes Against Reinstating Airline Pilots Fired Over Biden's Vaccine Mandate, Leaving Aviation Industry In Turmoil

Written By BlabberBuzz | Friday, 21 July 2023 23:10
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The House of Representatives made a significant decision late Wednesday night, voting against reinstating airline pilots who lost their jobs due to their refusal to comply with the Biden administration's vaccine mandate.

This development comes at a time when the aviation industry in the United States is grappling with a shortage of pilots.

The House members convened on Wednesday to discuss and vote on the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, also known as HR 3935. While the legislation was left unresolved, several proposed amendments were considered. One of these was Amendment 36, put forth by Illinois Representative Mary Miller on behalf of Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. The amendment aimed to "require airlines to reinstate pilots who were fired or forced to resign because of vaccine mandates."

Unfortunately for proponents of the amendment, it failed to pass with a vote of 294 to 141. The majority of Democrats voted against the proposed amendment, with only one exception, while Republicans were divided, with 140 in favor and 83 against.

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HR 3935 was introduced in June as a response to the challenges faced by the American aviation industry during the pandemic. The legislation seeks to address these issues by directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to increase hiring targets for air traffic controllers and raise the retirement age for pilots from 65 to 67. Additionally, the proposed legislation would prohibit the FAA from mandating mask-wearing or Covid-19 vaccines for passengers, air carrier employees, or FAA employees.

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Throughout the pandemic, many airlines implemented vaccine mandates, resulting in a high level of compliance among employees. However, a significant number of individuals were terminated for refusing to comply. United Airlines, for instance, terminated 232 staff members, including numerous pilots, for this reason alone.

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Opponents of vaccination expressed concerns about potential long-term side effects but were largely dismissed, with authorities emphasizing the established safety of the vaccines, as reported by Forbes. While United Airlines did allow unvaccinated employees who received exemptions to return to work in 2022, those who refused vaccination for unapproved reasons were not granted the same opportunity, according to NPR.

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The House's decision not to reinstate pilots who lost their jobs due to vaccine refusal reflects the ongoing debate surrounding vaccine mandates and individual freedom. As the aviation industry continues to grapple with a shortage of pilots, the implications of this decision on the industry's recovery remain to be seen.

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