Republican senators have coalesced around opposing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses even as a federal appeals court has blocked the administration from implementing it for the time being.
GOP senators are planning a formal challenge to the mandate, which was issued earlier this month under emergency auspices by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for private sector companies with 100 or more employees. Under the rule, businesses who meet the employee threshold are required to establish a mandatory vaccine program or require unvaccinated staffers to test negative each week in order to report for work, according to multiple reports.
Businesses have until Jan. 4 to begin implementing the mandate or they face penalties.
The opposition effort is being led by Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana and has been enjoined by the other 49 Republicans in the Senate. The GOP senators are moving to have the mandate struck down as an unconstitutional infringement on the private sector.
“President Biden’s vaccine mandate is an unconstitutional invasion of what should be a personal medical decision for every American and an affront to the rights of 80 million American workers,” Braun said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.
“Today, my Republican colleagues and I will formally challenge this federal overreach, and I urge the Senate to vote in favor of this disapproval resolution when it comes to the Floor for a filibuster-proof, simple-majority vote in early December,” he added.
GOP senators will use the Congressional Review Act, which is “the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule,” the network reported.
One GOP aide appeared to acknowledge that even if both chambers of Congress were to pass the measure, it would still need Biden’s signature to become law, which is a long shot. But the aide said if the House went along as well, it would put additional pressure on the president to act.
“If this level of support holds in the House, it would force President Biden to veto a disapproval resolution for his mandate that has already been under siege in the courts and the court of public opinion,” the GOP aide told Fox News.
“As President Biden tries to pass ‘transformational’ change through reconciliation with a simple majority vote, it would force him to veto a simple majority disapproval of his unconstitutional vaccine mandate for businesses,” the aide continued.
Braun also said he wants to see Americans pressure their representatives in Congress to vote to ditch the mandate.
“Republicans are united against President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses, but this federal overreach is not a partisan issue, and the mass firings and worsening labor shortages that will result from this mandate are affecting Americans in all 50 states,” Braun told Fox News.
“I encourage Americans to make their voice heard to their representatives on this issue, and we welcome any Democratic member of the Senate to join us in overturning this unconstitutional mandate causing turmoil across the country,” he added.
Already, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the mandate unconstitutional, then moved to reaffirm its ruling last week. In doing so, the court ordered the Biden administration to “take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order.”
Several federal court districts have had cases filed challenging the mandate. When that happens, one court is chosen via a lottery system to hear all of the cases. On Tuesday, the 6th Circuit, based in Ohio, was chosen to hear the cases, The Daily Wire reported.
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