Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and 49 Senate Republican colleagues filed a formal challenge against President Biden's vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act.
The Congressional Review Act is the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule. The resolution has been received by the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). This move to overturn President Biden's vaccine or test mandate for private employers is guaranteed a vote on the Senate floor. The rule was transmitted to the Senate on November 16th, setting up a Floor vote as soon as early December.
"Vaccines save lives and are the best defense against COVID-19, which is why I chose to get vaccinated, and I encourage everyone to make an informed decision to protect themselves and those around them,"
said Senator Tillis. "However, President Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses is a gross federal overreach. I support any individual business's right to make a decision for themselves, and small and large businesses across the country should not have to comply with this added burden. Many businesses are already struggling to get back on their feet from COVID-19, and this mandate will only hurt them more."
- 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.