WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), and all 47 other Senate Republicans in filing the formal challenge against President Biden’s vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act.
The Congressional Review Act is the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule. The resolution has been received by the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).
This move to overturn President Biden’s vaccine or test mandate for private employers is guaranteed a vote on the Senate floor. The rule was transmitted to the Senate on November 16th, setting up a vote as soon as early December.
“Since it was announced, I’ve worked to bring President Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandate to the Senate floor for a vote of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act,” said Senator Hagerty. “Though I believe the vaccine is effective, this is a personal decision for each American, in consultation with his or her doctor, not the federal government. This mandate is unconstitutional overreach by the Biden Administration, and I will continue to fight it at every turn in order to protect our free and open economy.”
- On September 8, President Joe Biden announced vaccine mandates that extend to 80 million private sector workers and additional mandates on millions of federal workers and contractors.
- To implement this mandate, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Employers that fail to comply will be fined $13,653 for each offense and willful violations will result in a $136,532 penalty. This rule places unrealistic compliance burdens on employers—especially during a time where business and supply chains are already under duress. For example, 30 days after publication, all requirements other than testing for employees must be in place. In addition, 60 days after publication, all testing requirements must be in place.
- 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.
- 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.