Sullivan, Braun Lead Bipartisan Group of Senators in Voting to Overturn Biden Vaccine Mandate for Businesses
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) today voted with all 49 of his Senate Republican colleagues, as well as two Democratic senators, to overturn President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate for businesses using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), an expedited process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule. Sen. Sullivan led the CRA effort against the vaccine mandate with Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.). The joint resolution, S.J. Res. 29, provides congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor entitled “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard,” which would result in hundreds of thousands of Americans potentially losing their jobs. Companion legislation, H.J. Res. 65, in the House of Representatives currently has 212 supporters, with every Republican in the chamber cosponsoring.
“President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates have been wreaking havoc on American businesses and hard-working families across the country, including in my state of Alaska. It’s an issue my team and I hear about from constituents on a daily basis,” Sen. Sullivan said. “I am glad to see a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators standing up today for hard-working Americans by rejecting this gross federal overreach from the Biden administration. These mandates are not supported by the Constitution or statute, a fact that courts just keep reaffirming as they hand down loss after loss for the President and his administration.
“In 2020, Congress and President Trump worked in a bipartisan way on an agreement that we would provide relief to American businesses on the condition they keep their employees. Now, Joe Biden is taking a sledge hammer to that employer-employee connection. Firing hard-working Americans who have made the personal choice not to get vaccinated not only undermines the significant work Congress and the Trump administration did to save millions of jobs during the pandemic, it also exacerbates the workforce shortages employers are already facing. No one should ever be forced to choose between getting vaccinated or putting food on the table for their families because of an unconstitutional mandate.”
- On September 9th, President Biden announced vaccine mandates that extend to 80 million private sector workers, and additional mandates on millions of federal workers and contractors.
- To implement this mandate, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Employers that fail to comply will be fined $13,653 for each offense, and willful violations will result in a $136,532 penalty. This rule places unrealistic compliance burdens on employers—especially at a time when business and supply chains are already under duress. For example, 30 days after publication, all requirements other than testing for employees must be in place. In addition, 60 days after publication, all testing requirements must be in place.
- 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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