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Biden vaccine mandate for truckers crossing border will worsen supply chain crisis, GOP senators warn

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FIRST ON FOX: A group of Republican senators sent President Biden a letter urging him to abandon plans for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the northern border. 

Twelve senators, led by Montana Sen. Steve Daines, are warning the president that the proposed vaccine mandate would hinder the transportation of goods across the U.S.-Canada border and exacerbate the ongoing supply chain crisis.

“Trucking is the largest mode of surface trade with Canada; every day, there are approximately 14,000 total truck entries along the U.S.-Canada border hauling more than $846 million of goods. Any disruptions to the continuity of U.S.-Canada trade would likely have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond our shared border,” the GOP senators wrote.

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Trucking organizations are already understaffed nation-wide, and the new mandates threaten to exacerbate the issue.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“In March of 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency classified truck drivers as essential to the continued viability of our nation’s infrastructure because trucking is an indispensable component of North American trade and the linchpin of America’s domestic supply chain,” the letter reads. 

“We urge your Administration to reengage our northern neighbor and leading export partner to establish a reciprocal policy for cross-border truck drivers that does not include a vaccine mandate and will not disrupt the North American supply chain.”

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., arrives for votes during a rare weekend session to advance the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., arrives for votes during a rare weekend session to advance the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The American Trucking Associations released a statement last month stating that vaccine exemptions are “vitally important” to protecting the U.S. supply chain. American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear accused OSHA of utilizing “extraordinary authority unwisely,” saying that the organization is “weighing all options of recourse” if the mandates come to fruition.

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“President Biden imposing a vaccine mandate for essential American workers trying to cross the northern border for their job, while not imposing any sort of mandate for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants coming across the southern border is beyond hypocritical,” Daines said about the mandate in a separate statement. 

“The President needs to stop putting illegal immigrants over American workers,” he added. 

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