Republican senators vow to block funding of Biden vaccine mandate

A number of GOP senators declared in a letter to Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that they would be moving to block the funding of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on American businesses with more than 100 employees. 

“…We will oppose all efforts to implement and enforce it with every tool at our disposal, including our votes on spending measures considered by the Senate,” the letter led by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) stated. “To be sure, we agree that countless Americans have benefitted from the protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccines. Nevertheless, the decision whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a highly personal one that should never be forced upon individuals by the federal government.”

The mandate was announced by Biden on September 9, but has not been formally adopted yet. It allows weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, but it is not clear whether the government, the company or the individual would be responsible for the cost of testing.

Marshall was a practicing OB-GYN for 25 years before coming to the Senate. He and other GOP senators are concerned that Biden’s mandate will make the current worker shortages worse at a time when many businesses are already shortstaffed and struggling.

Making things worse

Of particular concern are workers needed to meet supply chain challenges like truck drivers and dock workers, as well as first responders and other frontline workers in healthcare, the military, and education.

They also called the mandate “inhumane” for potentially depriving workers of their livelihoods at an already difficult time.

The letter was signed by 10 Republican Senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Jim Inhoffe (OK).

They said they would not support any cloture vote for legislation that didn’t include language protecting Americans from the onerous mandate.

Trying to nullify the mandate

More than three dozen senators also moved Wednesday to formally disapprove and nullify the mandate on private employees under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review executive actions.

The mandate is also facing lawsuits from some states like Florida and Texas. It is estimated to affect more than 80 million U.S. workers, but many of them have already been vaccinated.

Still, several million private workers could lose their jobs under Biden’s heavy-handed plan to force vaccinations.

New guidance from the Biden administration on Monday left enforcement of the mandate up to companies, which means they may choose not to fire workers who refuse to get vaccinated, at least not right away.

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