All 50 Republican senators are preparing to launch a legislative battle against the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate imposed on private businesses.
Lawmakers will formally challenge the executive rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). It is the first formal step to remove an executive branch rule.
The CRA can be used by Congress to repeal certain federal agency regulations through a joint resolution of disapproval. If both chambers vote to disapprove the CRA or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the executive mandate is invalidated.
“President Biden’s vaccine mandate is an unconstitutional invasion of what should be a personal medical decision for every American and an affront to the rights of 80 million American workers,” Republican Senator Mike Braun told Fox News.
The Covid-19 mandatory vaccinations order imposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks to affect approximately 84 million employees. The rule also mandates that employers provide paid time for employees to be vaccinated and requires all unvaccinated employees to wear a mask in the workplace.
Under the executive order, companies that fail to comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation, with the possibility of multiple citations.
Braun, the top Republican on the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, which has jurisdiction over OSHA, criticized the Biden administration and called it a “heavy-handed administration.”
The process to dismantle the vaccine mandate
The formal vaccine mandate reached the Federal Register and the Senate this Tuesday, November 16. Now Senate Republicans have a 20-day period to hold a vote to disapprove the executive order.
During that period, the disapproval will be reviewed in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. At the end of the set time, the decision will be eligible for a vote in the full Senate.
“Today, my Republican colleagues and I will formally challenge this federal overreach, and I urge the Senate to vote in favor of this disapproval resolution when it comes to the Floor for a filibuster-proof, simple-majority vote in early December,” the senator tweeted.
To dismantle the mandatory vaccine mandate, Senate Republicans will need to convince Democratic lawmakers willing to join the cause to achieve a simple majority. According to Fox News, a Republican aide said that “only a defection” from the blue party would achieve disapproval.
“I encourage Americans to make their voice heard to their representatives on this issue, and we welcome any Democratic member of the Senate to join us in overturning this unconstitutional mandate causing turmoil across the country,” Braun said.