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La. senators join effort to overturn Biden vaccine mandate for large companies

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy (R-La.) have joined more than 30 other senators and representatives in an attempt to nullify President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on companies with 100 or more employees.

The lawmakers have initiated a Congressional Review Act, which would allow Congress to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through joint disapproval. If such a joint resolution is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the president, or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the mandate becomes invalid.

“President Biden’s vaccine mandate would force many Americans either to violate their consciences or lose their jobs. This overreach contradicts the president’s earlier promise that he wouldn’t impose such a mandate. I’m happy to partner with my colleagues to oppose this power grab,” said Kennedy.

Biden’s mandate would force businesses with 100 or more employees to require COVID-19 vaccines or submit to weekly testing and wear face coverings in the workplace if they are unvaccinated.

More: US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4

Tougher rules will apply to another 17 million people who work in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. Those workers will not have an option for testing — they will need to be vaccinated.

The rule is expected to affect more than 80 million Americans. OSHA said companies that fail to comply with the regulations could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.

“People should get vaccinated for COIVD-19, but the government should not mandate it,” said Cassidy. “This rule should be repealed. The federal government should not control peoples’ lives.”

The deadline for businesses to begin enforcing the mandate is currently set for Jan. 4.

Nearly every Republican state attorney general has signed the letter, vowing to challenge the rule.

“They’ve got so many cross-purposes, so many things that just don’t make sense, not to mention the breach of individual liberty and prying into, you know, local and state governments jurisdiction,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)

“While I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good,” Biden said Thursday in a statement.

A Senate floor vote on the disapproval could come as early as December.

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