Senator Mike Braun from Indiana has secured the support of forty other Republican senators to formally challenge President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine rules on employers with 100 or more employees. Braun is the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. Biden’s mandate, to be written by the Department of Labor and enforced through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to be completed and distributed any day now. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over OSHA.
There are some notable exemptions to Biden’s vaccine mandate, besides religious objections and medical exemptions. Congress, for example, is exempt from the mandate, as are postal workers. The federal mandate requires the Department of Labor to require employers to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated and sick time to recover if side effects occur. The mandates stack up quickly, don’t they? The OSHA requirement for companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 gives employers the option of making unvaccinated employees pay for weekly testing. The Biden mandate will affect 80 million workers.
Senator Braun and the others want to strike down the federal mandate. The plan is to formally disapprove and nullify the mandate by using the Congressional Review Act. That is the process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule. The mandate warrants a review from Congress, the senators say. Nine senators are not on board yet as they wait for the formal filing from OSHA. No Republicans are opposed to the disapproval, though.
Braun is joined by Sens. Dan Sullivan, Bill Hagerty, Roger Marshall, Mike Lee, James Lankford, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, Rand Paul, Cynthia Lummis, Shelley Moore Capito, Marco Rubio, John Barrasso, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Thune, Jerry Moran, Roger Wicker, Richard Burr, Mike Rounds, John Hoeven, Pat Toomey, Tommy Tuberville, James Risch, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Kevin Cramer, Josh Hawley, John Boozman, Jim Inhofe, Chuck Grassley, Todd Young, John Kennedy, Ron Johnson, Ben Sasse, Steve Daines, Deb Fischer, Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis and John Cornyn.
A Republican aide told Fox News that the remaining nine GOP senators — Sens. Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, Susan Collins, Roy Blunt, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, Tim Scott and Rob Portman — are awaiting the formal filing of the OSHA rule. The aide said that there is no Republican opposition to the disapproval.
Most of those who are waiting to sign on is not a surprise. It is important that all Republicans stick together, though, since it is a 50/50 split senate. Fortunately, they are all on the same page in opposition to the federal mandate. Braun referred to the mandate as “heavy-handed government.” He noted that the business world has taken the COVID-19 pandemic “seriously from the beginning to keep employees and customers safe.”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.” Braun added that the mandate would be “the single biggest disruptor in one fell swoop” to the business community.”
At a time when the post-pandemic economy is struggling with worker shortages, supply chain disruptions, and empty shelves, is it wise to potentially kick millions of workers off their jobs to satisfy a mandate made in Washington? Joe Biden’s decision-making process hasn’t reaped a lot of success so far and this federal mandate isn’t off to a great start. Conservatives see it as an intrusion into personal medical decisions and an obstacle to the job market.
Braun and the other Republican senators will likely fail in their effort to strike down the mandate. Biden would no doubt veto the resolution and then Republicans would have to get a two-thirds vote in each chamber to override the veto. That’s won’t happen with today’s Congress and its slim Democrat majorities. Nonetheless, Braun is moving forward.
“Today, we are one step closer to protecting the liberties of millions of Americans in the private sector workforce under the Congressional Review Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to vote in favor of this disapproval resolution in the coming weeks,” Braun said in a statement, announcing broad support within the Senate Republican Conference for challenging Biden’s vaccination mandate for large employers.
Now we wait for OSHA’s release of the finalized mandate. Will the holdouts go ahead and join the other 41 Republican senators? If nothing else, it puts them on the record for objecting to what is seen as an overreach from the federal government.