Sullivan, Braun, Hagerty, Marshall, Lee Oppose Biden Vaccine Mandate and Demand Congressional Review
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), along with Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa.), are demanding congressional review of President Biden’s recent vaccine mandate on private employees before it goes into effect. Last week, President Joe Biden issued vaccine and testing mandates for private businesses with more than 100 employees, affecting more than 80 million Americans and threatening $14,000 fines for individuals who do not comply. Once the Biden administration formally issues this order, the senators and Congressman Keller intend to bring it before Congress for review under either the Congressional Review Act or other appropriate means.
“This rule is unconstitutional overreach by the President of the United States, pure and simple. Individual freedoms and the rule of law are too often an afterthought with this administration, while broken promises continue piling up. We all want to put this pandemic behind us, but the decision to vaccinate is an individual choice, and should not be mandated by the federal government,” said Sen. Sullivan. “The federal government does not have the constitutional or statutory authority to take this action, and to make this clear, we will be exercising our congressional authority to overturn this rule with a Congressional Review Act resolution.”
“President Biden has vastly overstepped the authority of the federal government by issuing vaccine mandates and testing requirements for private businesses. We will not sit by as this President chips away at liberty this country was built on, and that’s why we are formally challenging this rule under the Congressional Review Act,” said Sen. Braun.
“While I believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine—a product of the Trump Administration’s remarkable Operation Warp Speed—this top-down federal order, which President Biden vowed he would not issue, not only intrudes on what should be a personal decision for each American, but it will make it even harder for small business owners to hire and retain employees,” said Sen. Hagerty.
“President Biden’s vaccination decree is an all-out assault on private business, our civil liberties, and our entire constitutional system of limited government. The White House continues to ignore the Constitution as well as the science proving the benefits of natural immunity so they can justify an Executive Order that wipes out Americans’ control over their own healthcare options. Simply put, the Administration is overstepping its authority and we must hold them accountable with a formal challenge under the Congressional Review Act,” said Sen. Marshall. “As a former physician who believes the vaccine has saved countless lives, I stand by my belief that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice that should be made following a conversation with one’s doctor instead of being administered across the board by government decree.”
“The President cannot rule by decree. President Biden’s mandate is the most egregious incursion on the medical rights of Americans in our nation’s history, and it clearly exceeds the President’s power. This resolution will allow Congress to protect the American people and the Constitution,” saidSen. Lee.
“With his latest order, President Biden is attempting to weaponize the federal bureaucracy to force job creators to become the vaccination and testing police. At a time when we should be doing everything possible to get Americans back to work safely, this politically-driven mandate will unnecessarily stifle private sector job growth across the country,” said Rep. Keller.
The National Federation of Small Businesses said of the mandates: “Small businesses face daily challenges from pandemic requirements, locating qualified workers, rampant inflation, and supply chain disruptions. Small business owners and their employees want to operate in a safe and healthy manner that allows them to stay open. Additional mandates, enforcement, and penalties will further threaten the fragile small business recovery.”
On September 8th, President Biden announced vaccine mandates that extend to 80 million private sector workers, and additional mandates on millions of federal workers and contractors. These mandates are expected to force employees of private sector companies with more than 100 employees to become vaccinated or produce at-least-weekly negative test results before coming to work. The plan for federal employees and contractors does not include the option of weekly testing.
To implement the mandate, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to promulgate an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that will remain in place for six months. After this period, OSHA must promulgate a permanent standard. Development of a permanent standard in six months would drastically outpace the 93 months it has typically taken OSHA to develop and finalize permanent standards.
Historically, OSHA has used its ETS authority sparingly, with many such orders being successfully challenged in the courts. Of the nine times OSHA has issued an ETS, the courts have fully vacated or stayed the ETS in four cases and partially vacated the ETS in one case.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) can be used by Congress to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the rule at issue is invalidated.
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