GOP senators move to ‘strike down’ Biden’s workplace vax mandate

More than 40 Republican senators are looking to overturn President Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate through the Congressional Review Act, calling the rule “unacceptable.” 

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., is leading the 41 Republicans.The 41 Republicans, led by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), are seeking to invalidate the earlier this fall order from Biden that required businesses with 100 employees or greater to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. Federal employees were not offered the option of testing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue a formal rule soon to enforce the mandate. 

The Republican senators’ move was first reported by Fox News and does not have full support from the right side of the aisle as nine of the senators are waiting for OSHA to release the formal rule. A Republican aide said that there is no Republican opposition. 

“Now, when we’re finally at kind of an equilibrium, you’re putting an ultimatum on them,” Braun, the top Republican on the Senate Subcommittee for Employment and Workplace Safety said. “Either get the vaccine or lose your job.” 

Woman holds protest sign at a protest by healthcare workers against a vaccine mandate at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, New York.
Since the introduction of vaccinations, the topic of vaccine mandates has been a hot topic in the country. This has sparked protests across the country.
Newsday via Getty Images

“This rule is a vast overstep of authority by the federal government of what should be a personal medical decision for every American,” he said in a separate statement.

Braun is joined by many other GOP Sens. A part of the move formally announcedThey disapproved of the mandate Wednesday morning at a press conference. 

Sen. Mike Braun speaking during Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee confirmation hearing.
Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana is leading 41 Republican senators on Wednesday to oppose Biden’s rule.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

So far, Sens. Dan Sullivan, Bill Hagerty and Roger Marshall have joined Braun.

OSHA will release the formal rule authorizing the workplace mandate to Federal Registry. It will then be sent to the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will then be able to review the order within 20 days.

Following that, the Republican Senators’ disapproval can be eligible for a Senate floor vote. Fox News reported that Braun will schedule the vote, which is likely to take place in December. 

Person holds protest sign saying "No mandates" during a health care workers protest.
OSHA is expected soon to issue a formal rule on workplace vaccine mandates.
Newsday via Getty Images

The Republican’s disapproval is allowed through the Congressional Review Act, which permits Congress to overturn specific regulations and actions put in place by federal agencies. 

Several Senators have separately slammed the mandate, with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), calling it “an unconstitutional infringement on the fundamental rights of American citizens.”

“More than that, it unlawfully bypasses established regulatory procedures,” he said to 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.”

President Biden speaks at podium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in D.C.
President Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate has sparked outrage among Republican Senators.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“It’s wrong, will make our nation’s economic challenges worse, and must not be allowed to go into effect,” he added. 

Sen. Mike Lee accused Biden of ruling “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,” he said.

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