Kentucky Republican Rep. James Comer introduced a bill Thursday that would stop President Joe Biden from enforcing his COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the employees of federal contractors.
According to Fox News, the bill, called the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act of 2021, would bar executive agencies from imposing vaccine-related mandates on federal contractors and instead delegate the issue to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for oversight.
“Workers should not be forced”
Comer says the bill has more than 50 co-sponsors, and it reportedly has the backing of all House Oversight Committee Republicans.
“American workers should not be forced to get the jab to keep their job,” Comer said in a statement.
“President Biden’s authoritarian mandate on employees of federal contractors requiring vaccination or termination is unfair to those who support the federal government and jeopardizes services such as defense and border security,” the congressman said.
“Because of the sweeping mandate, employees risk losing their entire livelihoods — jobs, pensions and health care plans — and President Biden places our country at risk to public safety, health and supply chain crises,” he added.
Comer said his bill “makes it clear Americans are empowered to make their own medical decisions. President Biden’s continued assault on Americans’ freedom must be stopped.”
Republicans fight back
A statement from the House Oversight Committee noted that in September, President Biden issued Executive Order 14042, under which employees of federal contractors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, or risk losing their jobs and all the benefits associated with them.
The executive order offers very few exemptions and does not provide options for workers to be tested for the coronavirus regularly instead.
The statement also explains that Rep. Comer and Republican lawmakers on the Oversight panel recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Services Administration Secretary Robin Carnahan, and Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Shalanda Young requesting all information and documents related to President Biden’s sweeping federal contractor vaccine mandate.
The lawmakers also expressed concern that the mandate may also impact federal grantees, which could jeopardize the operations of local police departments, fire departments, emergency medical systems, and other vital organizations across the country.
Indeed, the White House’s continued vaccination efforts would impact more than just the tens of thousands of Americans who work in roles as contractors to the federal government. For Republicans, this is clearly a cause worth fighting for.