Senate set to nullify Biden vaccine mandate

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool

There’s probably going to be a vote in the Senate today to terminate Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate for private sector employers with more than 100 workers. And since Joe Manchin was one of the sponsors of the bill, it’s a safe bet that he’ll be voting in favor of it. Also, Democrat Jon Tester has already announced that he will support the measure as well. With all of the Senate Republicans voting in favor, the Democrats won’t even have a chance of bringing in Kamala Harris to break a tie. So does that mean that the mandate is about to go the way of the dodo bird? Not even close, or at least not because of this bill. (The Hill)

The Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday to nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers, giving Republicans a big symbolic victory.

Republicans say they expect the resolution will pass with at least 52 votes after centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) announced their support for the proposal. Every single Republican senator will vote for it.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA), which was enacted in 1996, sets up a fast-track process in the Senate that allows the minority party to force a vote on a resolution to disapprove of a federal rule. The CRA, however, does not have a fast-track process for the House.

As we previously discussed, this will mostly be a symbolic measure, but it’s one that the Democrats will eventually have to start paying attention to. The Congressional Review Act allows for a fast track for challenges to federal rules in the Senate, but there is no such mechanism in the House. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t even have to schedule a vote on the bill and even if she did and it somehow passed, Biden would just veto it anyway.

But that doesn’t mean that the private sector mandate is in the clear by any means. Multiple judges have placed holds on the order and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals looks like it’s getting ready to strike it down. If this bill passes, it will at least send a signal that the “sense of the Senate” is against such an order. The message slowly sinking in at the White House should be that the Biden administration has overreached on this subject and is meddling in affairs that the courts have traditionally left up to the individual states.

If that turns out to be how this all plays out, we’ll be back to another hodgepodge of rules that vary from state to state. It’s not that such a condition is really a bad thing because the Founding Fathers intended to allow the states to make their own rules in most cases. But for all of the potentially confused citizens out there who are wrestling with these questions, there will be even more uncertainty. Will they still have a job after Christmas if they are unvaccinated? That will depend on which state they live in and what decisions their employers make.

It’s hard to avoid the idea that such a situation could lead to even more migrations of people from blue states to red states or vice versa. Those opposed to authoritarian mandates or people who are simply distrustful of the new, experimental mRNA technology used in the most popular vaccines may decide to pack their things and head to red states where the choice will be left up to them. Conversely, the people who have bought into the idea that the unvaccinated are a “threat to society” and want Big Brother to force everyone into line may head for the blue states if they don’t already live in one.

Stop for a moment and consider the possibility that the Supreme Court may be preparing to strike down Roe v. Wade, or at least weaken it significantly. It’s not hard to imagine that similar migrations by pro-life and pro-abortion voters could be taking place. The same situation might be applied to states passing various forms of gun control laws.

Is the nation slowly dividing up into two countries, one red and one blue? I sincerely hope that we don’t have a significant number of people out there who are spoiling for an actual civil war. We have enough problems to deal with as it is. But it’s not hard to imagine voters in some states looking for a more peaceful, legislative exit. If it comes to that, the strange times we are living in now will only become all the stranger.