Senate Votes to Halt Vaccine Mandates, Biden Expected to Veto

Senate Votes to Halt Vaccine Mandates, Biden Expected to Veto

( – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a vaccination mandate for companies requiring employees to get their COVID-19 vaccinations or succumb to regular testing in January 2022. On December 8, the Senate passed a bill to permanently stop the mandate from taking effect. However, there is a belief that President Joe Biden will simply veto any such bill when it comes across his desk. Still, lawmakers want to send a message on behalf of their constituents.

Although the federal rule was supposed to roll out for all companies in the United States with 100 employees or more, pending lawsuits have stopped the mandate in its tracks. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked the rule in November, pending the outcome of open cases on the matter. The decision to affirm or deny the mandate lies with the Sixth Circuit. However, some Congressional members don’t want to wait for a decision from the court. They plan to stop what they say is overreach by the Biden administration with bipartisan legislation.

The Bipartisan Deal and Its Backers

Republicans used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to pass a resolution to repeal OSHA’s order, which originated with the president himself. The legislation had support from all 50 senators on the Right and 2 on the Left. One of the Democrats is Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who stated his intention to join his Republican colleagues “in defending Montana jobs and small businesses.” After listening to small business owners and community leaders, he felt the OSHA rule would cause an undue burden on the residents of his state. Since he serves in Congress to represent the people of Montana, he felt he had no choice but to vote against a vaccine mandate.

The other Democrat supporting the CRA resolution is Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). He stated the government should “incentivize, not penalize” employers to protect their employees from the coronavirus.

Traveling to the Oval Office

Although the act passed the Senate with a bipartisan effort, it still has to have the votes in the House of Representatives to make its way to the president’s desk. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) already made her position clear about vaccine mandates. She denounced those in the Senate who supported the resolution to block the OSHA mandate, so it seems likely she will not even bring the CRA resolution to the floor for a vote in the House. In fact, she said, “we’re not going to go for their anti-vaxxing.”

If the mandate becomes enforceable in January 2022 with the country divided on the issue, it could result in more troubles for Democrats looking to retain Congressional power in 2022.

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