Republican Senator from Indiana Mike Braun is leading Senate Republicans in an effort to officially nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Background: President Biden recently announced an executive order that forces private businesses with over 100 workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine. The order was immediately met with criticism from conservatives and business owners. Workers across the country, especially in public safety fields such as law enforcement officers and hospital workers have complained they were able to work through the entire pandemic without the vaccine and should not be forced into it now.
The mandate is expected to impact over 80 million Americans.
How Will They Do It: Senators are able to push back on an executive branch rule by using the Congressional Review Act. 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, according to Fox News.
The Republicans Against Biden’s Mandate: Braun is joined by Sens. Dan Sullivan, Bill Hagerty, Roger Marshall, Mike Lee, James Lankford, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, Rand Paul, Cynthia Lummis, Shelley Moore Capito, Marco Rubio, John Barrasso, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Thune, Jerry Moran, Roger Wicker, Richard Burr, Mike Rounds, John Hoeven, Pat Toomey, Tommy Tuberville, James Risch, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Kevin Cramer, Josh Hawley, John Boozman, Jim Inhofe, Chuck Grassley, Todd Young, John Kennedy, Ron Johnson, Ben Sasse, Steve Daines, Deb Fischer, Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis, and John Cornyn.
The Holdouts: According to a source close to Sen. Braun the move has support from all Republican Senators. However, the nine remaining Senators are waiting for the formal filing from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
What Happens Next: As soon as OSHA officially files Biden’s mandate the rule is transferred to the House and Senate where a 20-day “clock” begins. During that time the disapproval is reviewed by a Senate committee. After the 20-day clock has expired, Sen. Braun will be responsible for scheduling a floor vote.
Why It Matters: The vote will force Senators to declare their stance on Biden’s mandate publicly. The senators which vote in favor of the mandate will likely have to defend their position to voters as they seek re-election. Americans have been split on their support for a mandate that can affect the livelihood of so many and Republicans have made it clear they are working to win back majorities in next year’s midterm elections.
“It will make them decide, ‘Am I going to follow a crazy mandate? Or am I going to save my political career?’” Braun said.