House votes against measure to reinstate pilots fired for refusing Covid vaccine

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By BETH BLANKLEY | THE CENTER SQUARE

Eighty-three House Republicans voted against a measure that would have required commercial airlines receiving federal money to reinstate pilots who were fired for not complying with a federal Covid-19 vaccine mandate since ruled illegal.

Among them were eight Republicans who opposed the measure from Texas, a state that has consistently fought federal mandates. A federal judge in Texas was the first to rule the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate was illegal, blocking it in January 2022. The case went to the Supreme Court, which also ruled against the mandate.

As Congress has debated the effectiveness of federal mandates this week, it’s also considered amendments to the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, which reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and promotes hiring more pilots and air traffic controllers during a national shortage. It also bans the FAA from mandating that passengers be required to wear masks or get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to fly.

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Illinois, filed an amendment to the bill designed to reinstate pilots who were fired for not complying with the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate. It required commercial airlines receiving federal money and engaged in federal contracts that terminated pilots under the federal Covid-19 vaccine mandate to offer to reinstate them.

The amendment failed by a vote of 294-141; 83 Republicans voted with all Democrats to defeat it.

While many Texas Republican leaders have stood apart from those in blue states opposing mandates, and the Republican-controlled Texas legislature banned local governments from imposing vaccine and mask mandates, eight of 25 Republicans in Texas’ Congressional delegation opposed Miller’s amendment.

All 13 Texas Democrats voted against it. Joining them were seven Republicans voting no: Reps. Jodey Arrington, John Carter, Monica De La Cruz, Jake Ellzey, Tony Gonzales, Michael McCaul, and Randy Weber. Rep. Kay Granger voted “not present.”

Miller tweeted that she filed the amendment “to reinstate the pilots who were fired by the illegal & unconstitutional Covid vax mandate. We have a pilot shortage because of the chaos Biden caused with his vax mandates. I will never stop fighting the Swamp on this!”

U.S. airlines had hoped to add 13,000 pilots last year while the mandate was still being challenged in court. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said at the time, “The pilot shortage for the industry is real and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plan because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five plus years.”

This year, the gap between supply and demand for U.S. pilots increased to 17,000 unfilled positions, or 15% of the workforce, The Berkshire Eagle reported. “Nearly 50 percent of the commercial airline workforce will retire in the next 15 years,” it reports. “Unless things change, prospects are dim that supply and demand for this vital workforce can come back into balance any time soon.”

36 COMMENTS

    • New study by the Swiss ; 1 in 35 people receiving the shots have heart problems. Why don’t we have a study. We are supposed to be a free country.

      • We do have a study,,,,,,,just not for public viewing. The truth would be devastating to all our scumbag politicians who are working for the pharmaceutical companies. Duh.

      • Trig, heart disease is leading cause of death in United States. I doubt that only 1 in 35 Swiss have trouble with their cardiovascular system. Maybe it’s all the fondue they ingest? Try not getting your stats from RFK Jr. He is a fraud. BTW the risk of getting myocarditis from Covid is many times higher than from a vaccine. I know, all of the commenters here have a second cousin who dropped dead the day after receiving “the jab!” Any comments on Mitch McConnells “playing dead” scene? Haven’t seen anything on this site.

        • Sebastian, you demonstrate the dishonesty and delusional disingenuousness of the typical radical leftist extremist.

          If you had bothered to read the OP’s comment with any semblance of rationality, you would have noted that his implication that 1 in 35 of Swiss who had received the Covid (so-called) ‘vaccine’ (sic) had heart problems AS A RESULT of that shot, or those shots. A result clearly shown in numerous other studies, that are nevertheless downplayed or censored by the corporate media as it does not play into the official propaganda and narrative surrounding everything Covid.

          And again, I will posit my oft-repeated and rhetorical question: what motivates kneejerk pro-establishment, pro-authority lemmings and quislings like yourself to so completely and willingly acquiesce to demonstrably corrupt authority?

        • ” BTW the risk of getting myocarditis from Covid is many times higher than from a vaccine”

          the “vaccine” doesnt stop you from getting covid so even by your logic by accepting the vax into your life youre uping your odds of getting myocarditis for no upside. SmArt

  1. Now there’s a solution to the perceived pilot shortage. These people showed good judgment in refusing the experimental shots. I would definitely trust them if I were a passenger on their plane.The rule of aviation is to not take unnecessary risks. I have many pilot friends who lost their careers because of this but I would be proud to put my loved ones in their their planes.

  2. When finding good help is slow-going today don’t shoot yourself in the foot by silly prejudices. Unless you want to do ALL the work by yourself. Hehehahaha.

  3. Have to obey the Democrats or suffer the consequences. This was by design, if you’re a climate change cultist you hate airplanes anyway.

    • No, be real. The person gives up a six-digit job because he doesn’t want to be part of the experiment. Its not about political party. It’s about judgement. Reinstatement should not be a question now that we know more. One in 35, how lucky do you feel? Weather is on its lips, let’s go anyway. Strap in.

  4. We have good commercial pilots who are 65 and older in good health who are mandated to retire from commercial piloting but are doing contracted pilot work elsewhere. By requiring them to retire from commercial flying did not remove them from the sky as if they are dangerous rather removed them from the workforce resulting in delayed or cancelled flights. Someone needs to write an amendment to recognize the seasoned pilots to continue commercial services under physical fitness rather age determination.

    • Sorry, Ken,not with you on this one. Not to judge these aging aviators on their hard earned skills and ability, the next generation can definitely learn from their teaching. Perhaps that would be the best use for their skills. But unfortunately we all get old and commanding a commercial airplane with more than a hundred passengers is not a good place to shoot craps. For sure an old aviator is a safe aviator, but maybe not when we now have athletes dropping like flies from possibly the shot and the pilots who didn’t get the shot no longer fly. Not a good scenario,since older people are dying much more rapidly since Covid than in the past. People who have good health. Sudden heart attacks. What I am saying is that if they are still flying, then they probably took the shots and pose a higher risk of dropping dead at the controls, especially if older. Plus they didn’t practice good judgment by being part of the experiment. Not to say that they are not good enough aviators. They just pose a high risk. To the others on the plane.

    • There ARE 75 year olds that would qualify. Maybe not a lot of the total available candidates pool, but it is more than just a possibility.

  5. Both Democrat and Republicans voted against the amendment folks! They are the same animal. They work for tips,,,,BIG TIPS from corporations! Get it thru your heads. Big pharma pays way better than ” the people” wake up everyone,,,,,,Republicans are not any better than Democrats and vice versa.

  6. Republicans just keep proving that they are the Stupid Party with votes like the one mentioned in this story. If you doubt me, consider that Trump still boasts about ramming through that worthless Operation Warp Speed, clot shot and saving 100 million lives in so doing. Last I heard Trump was the leading candidate for the Republican Nomination for President. So given all that, the vote shouldn’t be a surprise.

  7. Good reporting.

    The 83 R’s ought to be targeted for primaries and shown the door.

    Next time your major airline flight gets cancelled or delayed remember this.

  8. Great choice.. Take shot, get myocardtis, lose license forever. Or don’t take shot, lose job and have to find a new job during a shortage ,only with the license you worked your tail off to get

    • Jefferson, the 83 who voted against this are not unlike the Nobles who abandoned William Wallace, taking their troops off the field of battle just prior to the opening of hostilities in a scene of the the movie Braveheart.

      Traitorous sell outs have long been with us. These 83 enjoy the aid and comfort of big pharma more than they are committed to defending Personal Liberties and collective Freedom.
      To hell with all of them.

  9. The pilots that chose their health over their careers, or the intelligent ones are gone. One common side effect of the toxic shots, myocarditis, is now more concentrated in the sketchy “professional” pilots who went along with the program. A lot of inexperienced and woke employment candidates will become pilots, degrading public safety in the skies. Skyrocketing cases of aggressive cancer are on the rise. We have dozens of friends and relatives who suddenly died or are very ill subsequent to the vaccine plague. Surprised the Republicans went along with their Democrat brethern? As though there is an opposition party to the modern dictatorship in a once proud and free America.

  10. The first mandate was illegal so let’s pass another blackmail law withholding some of that 30+ trillion debt money to force airlines to do our bidding. If the first mandate was illegal and there’s a shortage just let the airlines hire them back after the settlements. Only the Govt. Can create such messes while airline tickets go up.

  11. The same people that were there during the fake pandemic are also there now. Politicians, CEOs, talk radio hosts should be fired immediately. You really have to be a loser to have been played by this scam. These people suck at scams and you fell for this? What kind of person did not see this coming? You should look at yourself really hard because this was so in your face a third grader could have seen it.

  12. Would someone like to explain to me how the United States House of Representatives became the authority on who is medically fit to fly commercial airlines? Isn’t “practicing medicine without a license” still a crime?

  13. What’s happening here?
    .
    The silence from Speaker McCarthy, Majority Leader Scalise, and Majority Whip Emmer seems deafening.
    .
    The silence from airline pilots’ unions like ALPA, APA, and SWAPA seems deafening.
    .
    The silence from 27 airline-industry groups who spent more than $7M so far this year on 230 congressional lobbyists seems deafening. The same 27 groups paid $28.3M to lobbyists in 2022. That’s $28.3M for lobbyists, not pilots. (opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?id=T1100)
    .
    The U.S. Treasury report, “Loans to Air Carriers, Eligible Businesses, and National Security Businesses”, explains: “Established by the CARES Act, the 4003 Loan Program authorized the Treasury Department to make loans, loan guarantees, and other investments to provide liquidity to eligible businesses related to losses incurred (during COVID). …Treasury Department provided $2.7 billion in loans to 35 eligible businesses … passenger air carriers, repair station operators, ticket agents, cargo air carriers…
    .
    …the CARES Act required borrowers to agree to maintain their March 24, 2020, employment levels between that date –and September 30, 2020–. (emphasis added)
    .
    …the CARES Act required that Treasury receive financial protections in making a loan, in the form of warrant or equity interest if the borrower is a public company… As of February 2023, of the 35 loans that the Treasury Department executed, 21 large and small businesses owe a combined $985M. Fourteen borrowers have fully repaid their loans for a combined $1.7B in principal prepayments. Borrowers have paid more than $97M in cash interest payments.”
    (treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-industry/loans-to-air-carriers-eligible-businesses-and-national-security-businesses)
    .
    Warrant or equity interest means Government owns part of the airline industry as collateral in exchange for loaning them money, and arguably has a say, as part owner, in how the companies work.
    .
    Does part government ownership mean America’s airlines are partly nationalized?
    .
    What’s the –bottom line– cost to fill 17,000 unfilled pilot positions and carry on as if nothing happened? Bottom line means the whole cost, of which 6-figure pilot salaries are only part.
    .
    What else but another industry bail-out could supply the whole cost? Who else but the U.S. Treasury will assume the risk of loaning yet more money to an industry already in turmoil to pay the whole cost?
    .
    Remember Treasury loans are secured with “…warrant or equity interest if the borrower is a public company”. In other words, even more government ownership, right?
    .
    Would more government ownership mean Government graduates to majority owner and regulator of America’s airline industry? If Government achieves majority ownership does this mean America’s airline industry is fully nationalized?
    .
    Recall “CARES Act required borrowers to agree to maintain their March 24, 2020, employment levels between that date and September 30, 2020.”.
    .
    Is it possible, after September 2020, industry officials realized that forcing COVID vaccinations on employees would cause thousands to quit, or be fired, in protest? Why not, if money thus saved on wages, benefits, training, and retirement, can be redirected to profits, lobbyists, and loan repayments? Why not, if expected backlash from begging for another bailout can be delayed until taxpayers forget the last three?
    .
    Was that the idea all along; using customer frustration as leverage for yet another bailout so Government winds up as majority owner and sole regulator of America’s airline industry? Care to imagine a list of who benefits from that marriage?
    .
    Now the apparent silence of Important People and the votes of 83 House Republicans start to make sense.
    .
    Still, it would have been fun watching the House vote on reinstatement after pilots’ and allied trade unions channeled their inner Teamster, their inner Longshoreman energy into suggesting sick-outs during busy holidays would never happen if pilots were immediately reinstated with back pay and benefits.

  14. The complete stupidity of our over controlling greedy government. To mandate one thing to only end up proposing to mandate another thing as to so call correct the first bad mandate. Defund the government!!

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