President Joe Biden has taken an increasingly strict approach to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, drawing widespread opposition from private businesses and citizens potentially impacted by them.
GOP lawmakers have also pushed back against a Labor Department rule aimed at businesses with more than 100 employees — and two Senate Democrats just voted alongside all 50 Republicans to pass a resolution condemning and repealing that rule.
“Sends a crystal clear message”
According to Fox Business, relatively moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) crossed the aisle to support the measure advancing the anti-mandate resolution.
Of course, it seems unlikely that the proposal to repeal the executive mandate through Congressional Review Act is unlikely to gain traction in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Even if it did pass, it would be almost certainly vetoed by Biden.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the bill and issued a statement on Wednesday cheering its success in his chamber.
“No one should be forced to choose between getting a vaccine and losing their job,” he said. “The bipartisan Senate passage of my challenge to President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private businesses sends a crystal clear message to the White House: Back off, and stop this crazy federal overreach.”
Braun went on to call for “five Democratic representatives who will stand up for small business owners and the rights of their constituents against this big government-gone-wild mandate.”
“Temporary emergency standard”
Despite how unlikely it is that Braun’s resolution will actually become law, his efforts to highlight a perceived overreach by the White House will force all members of Congress to go on the record in either support or opposition to the president’s vaccine mandate.
As CBS News reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule was suspended last month when two federal court rulings blocked its implementation during ongoing legal challenges.
According to the terms of OSHA’s “temporary emergency standard,” all businesses with more than 100 employees would be forced to require workers to receive a vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing under penalty of steep fines.
Had the rule not been suspended in response to court orders, it was scheduled to go into effect this week.
In the House, Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) has introduced a measure of his own. In the end, Braun has indicated his desire to see Biden “back off” from his insistence on compulsory vaccinations.