Senate Republicans Move to Cancel Biden’s Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

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Republican senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Roger Marshall of Kansas are leading a group of GOP colleagues that includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in an effort to put the Senate on record opposing President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.

“Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates punish essential workers who put their lives on the line to serve their communities,” Blackburn said in a statement issued Thursday. “Tennessee’s healthcare workers should not be fired from showing up to work and providing lifesaving care. This resolution will stop the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from firing the nurses, doctors, and medical professionals that care for the elderly, poor, and most vulnerable.”

The legislative vehicle for the move is the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that provides a process under which a resolution of disapproval of a newly issued executive branch regulation must be approved by majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The President can then sign the resolution, which kills the regulation or veto it, which allows the regulation to take effect unless Congress overrides the veto.

The CRA was approved by Republican congressional majorities in 1996 and was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. The process has been successfully used to stop controversial regulations 20 times since its passage, including three times in the present Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Blackburn said the anti-health care worker vaccine mandate resolution has 32 Senate co-sponsors, which means it is a privileged vehicle that must be brought to the Senate floor for a vote within a few weeks.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and other Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are pushing the resolution in the lower chamber. The House version of the resolution has 162 co-sponsors, also all Republicans, and is also a privileged vehicle that must be brought to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

By Mark Tapscott

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