The House of Representatives has voted not to reinstate airline pilots who were fired for refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate enforced by Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration.
The proposition to reinstate the pilots failed by a vote of 294 to 141.
The move comes as the United States aviation industry continues to struggle amid a major shortage of pilots.
Members of the House convened on Wednesday to debate and vote on the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, HR 3935.
The night ended with the legislation being left as “unfinished business.”
However, a number of proposed amendments had their fates decided.
Among them was Amendment 36, requested by Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) on behalf of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
The amendment would “require airlines to reinstate pilots who were fired or forced to resign because of vaccine mandates.”
Every Democrat bar one voted against the proposed amendment.
Republicans, meanwhile, were more split, with 140 saying “yea” and 83 saying “nay.”
HR 3935 was introduced in June to help ease some of the pain the American aviation industry has felt since the pandemic.
It seeks to direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to increase air traffic controller hiring targets.
The bill would also raise the pilot retirement age from 65 to 67.
The proposed legislation would also bar the FAA from “requiring mask-wearing or COVID-19 vaccines for passengers, air carrier employees, or FAA employees.”
During the pandemic, airlines across the country instituted vaccine mandates.
For the most part, there was a high rate of compliance.
Nevertheless, a consequential number of employees lost their jobs for refusing to comply.
As Forbes reports, United Airlines alone terminated 232 members of its staff for that reason, many among them pilots.
According to NPR, those who opposed getting the jab voiced their concerns about potential long-term side effects.
But their concerns were largely dismissed and they were told the safety of the vaccines had been clearly established.
United Airlines did allow unvaccinated employees who received an exemption to return to work in 2022, but not those who refused for unapproved reasons.