Legislative efforts to block Biden vaccine rules face uphill battle in Democrat-controlled Congress
The Senate is set to vote this week on a resolution to nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies, as Republicans and at least one Democrat push back on the administration’s rule requiring vaccines or inconvenient testing rules for workers at large businesses.
All 50 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., backed a challenge to the vaccine mandate last month under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). That law allows Congress to officially disapprove of an executive branch regulation via a resolution passed through each chamber.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said last week he also supports the Braun resolution.
“I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Manchin said Thursday after voting against an amendment to a government funding bill that would roll back public and private vaccine mandates. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and a handful of other Republicans forced that vote in exchange for expediting passage of the funding bill, but they got no Democrat support.
Republicans also think Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., may vote for the Braun resolution. She declined to say whether she will vote for it in an interview with CNN last week. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is also pushing his Democrat counterpart from Montana, Sen. Jon Tester, to “join me in my efforts to block all of Biden’s mandates.”
The Braun resolution only needs a simple majority to pass the Senate, which means the bill will likely succeed. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa., is leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives, which his office said Friday has 206 cosponsors. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday it is unlikely the bill could come for a vote in the House with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in charge.
“The challenge is how you bring it up on the floor,” he told reporters. “We’re not in the majority. We don’t control it.”
By Tyler Olson
Senator Joe Manchin joins vaccine mandate challenge, expected to pass next week in Senate
WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Braun released the following statement following Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s announcement that he has cosponsored the disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act for President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses.
With Senator Manchin’s support and all 50 Senate Republicans who have already signed on to this challenge to the vaccine mandate for private businesses, the resolution is expected to pass the U.S. Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed today on America’s Newsroom that a vote on the disapproval resolution will likely come next week.
“President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate for private businesses is not a partisan issue: it jeopardizes the freedoms and livelihoods of Americans in all 50 states, and I hope that more Democratic Senators and Representatives will follow Senator Manchin’s strong lead and stand up against this federal overreach that will wreak havoc on our recovering economy and trample on the rights of millions of Americans.” – Senator Mike Braun