Defund the vaccine mandate
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Last month, President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE announced a federal vaccine mandate despite his own press secretary admitting less than two months earlier that federal vaccine mandates are “not the role of the federal government; that is the role that institutions, private-sector entities, and others may take.”

For some unknown reason, perhaps to remove attention from his botched withdrawal of U.S. troops, allies, and citizens from Afghanistan, President Biden is now mandating the vaccine for all federal workers and contractors, all health care workers at hospitals receiving federal funds, and perhaps most alarming, all employees who work at businesses with 100 or more employees.

Mandating what drugs private citizens inject into their bodies is not only unprecedented, but likely unconstitutional. Beyond the philosophical objections to vaccine mandates, President Biden’s vaccine decree may have a devastating effect on our economy, medical industry, and even national security as employees are forced to choose between their job and injecting drugs into their bodies.

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While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works through its vaccine mandate rule for employers with over 100 employees, industries across the economy are asking the Biden administration to cease and desist for fear of workers disobeying the mandate and losing their jobs.

The Allied Pilots Association, representing 14,000 American Airlines pilots, has asked the Biden administration for “alternative means of compliance” to avoid “mass terminations of unvaccinated pilots. The American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear criticized the mandate as a threat “to cause further disruptions throughout the supply chain” and “putting the brakes on any economic revival” from the pandemic. The Construction Industry Safety Coalition, representing over 25 construction-related trade groups, has pointed out the obvious to the Biden administration, namely that OSHA doesn’t possess the authority to apply the mandate because it can’t demonstrate workers are in “grave danger” from exposure to a hazard in the workplace.  

To make matters worse, the Biden administration is going full coastal elite by refusing to allow a formal public comment period on OSHA’s vaccine mandate rule. Don’t agree with the mandate or rule? Sorry, the government isn’t taking any public comments because after all they know best.

In the medical industry, the vaccine mandate will cost thousands of front-line workers their jobs. These are the same workers who saved countless lives during the height of the pandemic. In New York, the largest health care provider, Northwell Health, fired 1,400 unvaccinated employees during the first week of October. But don’t worry, the governor of New York could send thousands of national guardsmen to replace these workers (well, at least the national guardsmen who don’t refuse the vaccine). Once the national mandate goes into full effect later this fall, hundreds of thousands of front-line workers could lose their jobs.

One of the more alarming effects of the mandate is currently on full display within the U.S. armed forces and government contractors working for the Department of Defense. Active-duty troops have until Dec. 15 to be vaccinated—just in time for Christmas. While the exact number of unvaccinated troops is unknown, you can be sure thousands of troops will be discharged from the military for not complying. We have already seen highly talented and trained—at the great expense of U.S. taxpayers—Navy SEALs sent home from mid-deployment for refusing the vaccine. This despite the fact that only 34 service members have died from coronavirus-related illness since the start of the pandemic.

As the federal vaccine mandate deadline approaches, more and more Americans will lose their jobs, employers will be forced to fire workers, front-line workers will be replaced by national guardsmen, and troops will be discharged from the military, all taking place as pandemic dictates continue to restrict economic recovery.  

Lawmakers who are serious about protecting the American people from government-mandated vaccination must take action to defund President Biden’s mandate. This can be done simply by refusing to vote for any funding bill that doesn’t defund the vaccine mandate. Thankfully, Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate are beginning to take the issue seriously.

Sen. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Defund the vaccine mandate Biden presses companies to get ahead of vaccine mandate MORE (R-Kan.) proposed an amendment on the Senate floor that received full Republican support. It would have blocked the use of federal funds for vaccine mandates, but unfortunately every single Democrat senator voted against it. In the House, RSC Chairman Jim Banks, Rep. Claudia Tenny, and Rep. Andy Biggs have all introduced legislation nullifying the mandate. Republican House leadership must throw its full weight beyond these bills.

Federal government funding expires on Dec. 3. This deadline gives congressional lawmakers the last leverage point to use the “power of the purse” to stop President Biden’s unconstitutional mandate before it takes full effect.

As James Madison so eloquently wrote in Federalist Paper No. 58: “This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”

Rob Henneke is general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.