November 17, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both R-Wyo., joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and all Republican senators in formally challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act, the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule.
“The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is federal government overreach at its worst. The country is already facing massive worker shortages and a supply chain crisis. President Biden is only making it worse. This is why all Republican senators are challenging this unlawful mandate,” said Senator Barrasso. “As a doctor, I know vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and they work. The choice to be vaccinated should be made in consultation with your health care provider—not dictated by the federal government. The people of Wyoming shouldn’t be forced to choose between their job and their personal health care decisions.”
“The President has signed numerous Executive Orders placing burdensome and far-reaching mandates on people in Wyoming,” Senator Lummis said. “To make matters worse, he is requiring our job creators and businesses to enforce these mandates. This is unconstitutional, unconscionable and unacceptable. American citizens deserve autonomy and privacy in making healthcare decisions, and private businesses should not be forced to carry out the will of an overreaching federal government.”
• On September 8, President Joe 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, 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.
• 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.