WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and 40 other GOP colleagues in formally moving to disapprove and nullify President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees under the Congressional Review Act (CRA): the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule.
This week, the White House is expected to issue a rule to officially mandate vaccination requirements for employees at private businesses with more than 100 employees. The rule, which will affect more than 80 million Americans, imposes $14,000 fines for persons who do not comply.
This rule by the Biden Administration is a highly inappropriate invasion of what should be a personal medical decision for every American. The federal vaccine mandate threatens to worsen the current labor shortage and further disrupt supply chains. This unacceptable federal directive impacts tens of millions of Americans and warrants review by Congress—the representatives elected by the American people to make the laws.
“At a time when businesses across the country are already suffering the crippling consequences of labor shortages, supply chain turmoil, and skyrocketing inflation, the last thing they need is another federal regulation making it even harder to find and retain workers,” said Senator Hagerty. “While I believe in the effectiveness of the vaccine, this is a personal decision for each American, in consultation with his or her doctor, not the federal government. Congress must protect Americans’ individual liberties and livelihoods by rejecting this unconstitutional overreach by President Biden.”
“Since the announcement of President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate in September, I have led the charge to strike down this vast overstep of authority by the federal government,” said Senator Braun. “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.”
On September 8, President Biden announced vaccine mandates that extend to 80 million private sector workers and additional mandates on millions of federal workers and contractors. These mandates are expected to force private-sector employers with more than 100 employees to become vaccinated or produce at-least-weekly negative test results before coming to work. And as announced, the federal employee and contractor plan doesn’t even include the option of weekly testing rather than taking a vaccine.
The CRA provides for Congress to oversee the federal regulatory process for implementing legislation by allowing it to review and potentially revoke, through a resolution of disapproval, rules that substantively affect the American people. Under the CRA, rules must be submitted to Congress under the CRA before they can take effect, at which point they can be brought for a vote under expedited procedures. When an agency fails to submit to Congress a policy that constitutes a rule under the CRA, a member of Congress may request that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issue an opinion regarding whether the rule should have been submitted to Congress. If GAO finds that the policy should have been submitted to Congress because it constitutes a rule, then such rule can be brought before Congress for a vote under the same expedited procedures.
In September, Hagerty sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh to confirm that the announced vaccine mandate rule would be submitted to Congress.