WASHINGTON (KFOR) – U.S. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma called for a vote on an amendment he introduced that would prohibit the Department of Defense from discharging or withholding pay or benefits from National Guard members over their COVID–19 vaccination status.
Lankford’s amendment is to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
He called for the vote on Wednesday.
Lankford’s action comes a day after the Pentagon announced that National Guard members who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be barred from training and have their pay withheld.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued the directive a day after denying Gov. Kevin Stitt’s request to exempt the Oklahoma National Guard from a mandate that military personnel be vaccinated, according to the Associated Press.
Austin issued an order in August making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for military personnel, according to the Associated Press.
Stitt asked Austin in early November to suspend the mandate for members of the Oklahoma Guard, according to AP.