Senate Republican on Wednesday launched an effort to use a congressional procedure to overturn President Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.
The mandate was among a suite of measures introduced by the Biden administration in September to improve vaccination rates.
It will affect roughly 80 million Americans.
Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, said he and 40 other Republican senators would begin the process of using the Congressional Review Act to overturn it.
‘Last year we did everything we could to keep people in their jobs,’ he tweeted.
‘Now Joe Biden is doing everything he can to push them out.
‘Today, I’m leading 41 of my colleagues to strike down his oppressive vaccine mandate for businesses.’
Republicans have been deeply critical of the mandate.
It has not yet gone into force.
Sen. Mike Braun, ranking Republican on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, is leading an effort by 41 senators to nullify President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on companies with 100 or more employees
Biden announced the measure in September amid mounting concern that a reservoir of unvaccinated people meant the U.S. was unable to break free of the pandemic
Sen. Mike Braun is leading 41 Senate Republicans in trying to nullify President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for companies that have 100 or more employees
The mandate will apply to about 80 million Americans, who will have to prove their vaccination status to their employer or accept weekly testing instead
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue detailed rules on how it will work in the coming days.
Some companies have introduced their own rules while others are waiting to see the federal mandate before acting.
And some businesses have asked that the new rules be delayed until after the busy holiday season.
‘Now, when we’re finally at kind of an equilibrium, you’re putting an ultimatum on them,’ Braun, a businessman, told Fox News.
‘Either get the vaccine or lose your job.’
He and his colleagues will launch their effort at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
They plan to use Congressional Review Act (CRA), a mechanism for Congress to overturn federal agency regulations and actions.
However, it requires a joint resolution from both chambers making it through the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Once OSHA publishes the details of the mandate it will be submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate.
After 20 days, the Republican disapproval will be taken to the Senate floor for a vote, forcing members to put their views on the record.
Braun said: ‘It will make them decide, ‘”Am I going to follow a crazy mandate? Or am I going to save my political career?”‘
Sen. Josh Hawley offered his support, saying the mandate was ‘unconstitutional.’
‘More than that, it unlawfully bypasses established regulatory procedures,’ he told Fox News.
‘Congress, not the president, has the authority to make law.
‘He is ignoring this basic principle by forcing employers to require their workers be vaccinated, undergo rigorous testing procedures, or be fired.’
Vaccine mandates have been controversial across the country and have impacted business and cities, including New York where 9,000 city workers have gone on unpaid leave to avoid getting the shot.
Biden’s executive order requires all companies with at least 100 employees to check proof of vaccination from all their workers. Those who receive exemptions from their employees can opt for weekly testing instead.
The OSHA rules will also require employers to allow workers to take paid time off to to get Covid-19 vaccines.
The administration has threatened fines of about $14,000 for employers who do not comply.
Businesses and trade associations have warned of the impact.
The American Trucking Association has told White House officials they fear drivers will quit rather than get a vaccine – exacerbating the supply chain crisis.
‘Placing vaccination mandates on employers, which in turn force employees to be vaccinated, will create a workforce crisis for our industry and the communities, families and businesses we serve,’ the association’s president and CEO Chris Spear wrote in a letter to the White House recently.