November 17, 2021
Today, as OSHA temporarily halted implementation of President Biden’s vaccine mandate in accordance with last week’s Fifth Circuit ruling, Senator Ben Sasse joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and all 48 of their Senate Republican colleagues in an effort to permanently block President Biden’s vaccine mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Today’s action taken by the Senators guarantees 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.
“President Biden’s vaccine mandate is constitutional slop – unelected bureaucrats at OSHA don’t have the power to do this," said Senator Sasse. "I’m pro-vaccine but these mandates aren’t going to beat the pandemic – they’re going to grow government and erode trust in these near-miracle drugs. Nebraskans deserve better.”
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.