|Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today joined Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and several colleagues in formally challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). 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 floor vote as soon as early December.
“While I continue to encourage eligible Iowans to get the safe and effective vaccine, I am opposed to President Biden’s unconstitutional government vaccine mandate on private businesses. Businesses don’t need additional red tape on top of a worker shortage crisis and sluggish economy. Every business and American should have the ability to make their own decision about the vaccine,” Grassley said.
“Today, Senate Republicans will formally challenge the overreach of federal power that is President Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for private businesses, 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 as soon as early December. Republicans are united against President Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses, but this federal overreach is not a partisan issue, and the consequences of this mandate are affecting Americans in all 50 states,” Braun said.
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).
On September 8, 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, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (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.
This unconstitutional action by the Biden administration also faces legal challenges. On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued a stay in BST Holdings, L.L.C. v. OSHA, ordering that OSHA take no steps to implement or enforce the OSHA mandate until further court order.
The CRA can be used by Congress to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the rule at issue is invalidated.
Joining Grassley and Braun are Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (