WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and over two dozen colleagues in introducing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would halt President Biden’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for virtually all health care employees and prevent any similar rule from being proposed in the future.
“Throughout the pandemic, nobody has done more to care for and support communities than medical providers. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” Boozman said. “Many of them have chosen to get vaccinated, just as I have, to protect themselves and combat COVID-19. But I have consistently encouraged Arkansans and all Americans to talk to doctors they trust about making a decision to get vaccinated. A federal mandate violates that tenet and threatens to disrupt the delivery of vital health care services, which would be counterproductive and potentially catastrophic.”
“The Biden administration’s CMS vaccine mandate is a slap in the face to the hard-working men and women who never took a day off in the frontline fight of the COVID-19 battle. These heroes of the pandemic are being fired for choosing not to take the COVID vaccine, despite many of them having immunity through natural infection. As a physician, I’m confident the vaccine has saved lives; however, whether to receive it is a personal choice between individuals and their doctor – not mandated via executive actions,” said Marshall. “With this CRA, we are continuing to do everything in our power to fight for those who ran to the sound of the battle – for these are the true heroes of the pandemic and deserve our best fight and utmost respect.”
“Our doctors, nurses, and first responders have been on the front lines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives and keeping our healthcare system running smoothly. Now, President Biden’s policies threaten to fire many of those heroic essential workers and exacerbate labor force shortages at our hospitals and first response systems,” said McConnell. “I have consistently urged everyone to receive their safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. I am pro-vaccination. But the federal government should not have the power to dictate individual medical decisions or place additional burdens on our healthcare system by placing mandates on these heroes.”
In addition to Boozman and McConnell, Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Hoeven (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Risch (R-ID), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Rick Scott (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) have also cosponsored the resolution.
The Congressional Review Act is a tool enabling Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies after being properly noticed. The CMS vaccine mandate, the subject of this CRA, has been temporarily prohibited from taking effect by two federal courts, including a suit joined by Arkansas being heard before the Eastern District of Missouri.
U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan (SC-3) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.Senator Boozman has also joined efforts to block Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employers with over 100 employees, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) attempted to enforce before being halted by a federal appeals court. The Senate, with Boozman’s support, passed a CRA measure to disapprove and nullify the mandate.