House, Senate GOP team up to block Biden’s vaccine mandate: ‘Give the freedom back to the American people’

By way of a dubious emergency rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), President Joe Biden is attempting to mandate that all private businesses with more than 100 employees force their workers to get vaccinated — or tested weekly — for COVID-19, lest the business owners face steep punitive fines.

But now, Republicans in both the House and Senate are working together in hopes of killing Biden’s vaccine mandate before it can even be implemented, The Daily Wire reports.

The charge is being led in the House by Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN). The pair reportedly hopes to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rein in Biden’s executive actions and, in Keller’s words, “give the freedom back to the American people.”

“Standing up for the people”

According to The Daily Wire, Rep. Keller, who is currently the ranking member on the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, said in an interview with Fox News on Friday that the CRA gives Congress broad oversight powers over the executive branch.

“The Congressional Review Act allows us as members of Congress to keep the executive branch in check when they release these mandates, and we’re exercising our constitutional authority,” Keller said.

“The federal government does not rule over the people. States make up the federal government,” he added. “It is ‘we the people’ that give the government its power, the government does not give power to the people.”

The congressman went on to question the constitutionality of the OSHA vaccine mandate. “We’re taking this step to give the freedom back to the American people…and take it from a president that doesn’t have the authority to do this,” Keller said, as The Daily Wire reported. He went on:

We’re standing up for the people that we represent, and we’re standing up for all Americans in making sure their constitutional rights aren’t infringed upon by an overzealous executive.

A look ahead

Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Sen. Braun — the ranking Republican on that chamber’s Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety — has already been joined by 42 of his GOP colleagues in supporting the use of the CRA to end Biden’s vaccine mandate for workers, Fox News reports.

Among the Republicans in the upper chamber who haven’t backed the move is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But according to a GOP aide, there is no internal opposition to the move, and the handful of senators who haven’t yet signed on are simply waiting for the OSHA rule to be formally filed before moving forward.

Once the Republicans decide to make their move, a “privileged” resolution requiring only a simple majority will be brought to the floor, and, if passed, sent to President Biden’s desk for a signature which he will of course be highly unlikely to deliver. Biden’s likely veto of the resolution could potentially be overridden by a two-thirds majority, which also seems unlikely.

All of that said, the real, and arguably more important, goal of this whole exercise is forcing Democratic members of the House and Senate — some of whom are facing tough re-election bids next year — to go on record either for or against the president and his bid to force private businesses and employees to get vaccinated against their will.

Of course, all of that may end up being moot, as a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has already issued a temporary stay blocking implementation of the OSHA rule pending further litigationThe New York Times reports.

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