WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and a majority of his Senate colleagues today voted to disapprove of and nullify the COVID-19 vaccine mandate President Biden sought to impose on private employers with over 100 employees. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) measure now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote.
“An unelected bureaucracy like OSHA does not have the authority to require private businesses to enforce vaccination among employees. This decree from the Biden administration was always unwise and unworkable,” Boozman said. “It would also put some employers at a competitive disadvantage. I’m proud the Senate stood with the Constitution and individual rights by rejecting this overreaching mandate.”
The White House last month issued a rule to officially mandate vaccination requirements for employees at private businesses with more than 100 employees. The rule, which would affect more than 80 million Americans, allows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to impose thousands of dollars in fines on employers that do not comply and even threatens jail time for individuals OSHA determines to have misrepresented their vaccination or testing status.
On November 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted OSHA’s enforcement of the agency’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that was set to take full effect on January 4, 2022. Despite this rebuke, the Biden administration continues to stand by its edict, pledging to defend it in court and implement it with a heavy hand if approved.
Boozman has consistently opposed the mandate since it was announced. He cosponsored the CRA to formally eliminate the rule.
The CRA authorizes Congress to oversee the federal regulatory process 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 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.