Republicans to challenge Biden vaccine mandate

Forty Senate Republicans led by Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses GOP fears boomerang as threat of government shutdown grows Overnight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate MORE (R-Ind.), the ranking member of a Senate committee on employment and workforce safety, say they will use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to challenge President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE’s new order requiring large employers to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Biden administration is expected this week to issue a new rule mandating vaccination requirements at businesses with more than 100 employees. The rule will affect as many as 80 million workers, and those who don’t comply face stiff fines.

Braun and other Republicans will attempt to force the Senate to vote on a resolution disapproving of the rule. It must be passed by the Senate and the House, both of which Democrats control, and be signed into law by the president.

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If Biden vetoes the disapproval resolution, Republicans would have to muster a two-thirds vote in each chamber to override the veto and stop the rule from taking effect.

Their effort is expected to fall short because Democrats control 50 Senate seats, but it could be a tough vote for vulnerable incumbents up for reelection next year.

“Today, we are one step closer to protecting the liberties of millions of Americans in the private sector workforce under the Congressional Review Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to vote in favor of this disapproval resolution in the coming weeks,” Braun said in a statement, announcing broad support within the Senate Republican Conference for challenging Biden’s vaccination mandate for large employers.

Under Biden’s proposal, large private-sector employers would have to require employees to become vaccinated or get tested weekly for COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

Workplace vaccination mandates have become a controversial topic around the country.

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Southwest Airlines provoked a backlash from its employees by requiring they get vaccinated to comply with Biden’s expected order. The company’s pilots union challenged the mandate, but a federal judge last week rejected its request to issue a temporary restraining order against the mandate.

Southwest backed off its policy some by announcing recently that it wouldn’t fire employees who refused to get vaccinated.

Senate Republicans are framing the battle over vaccination mandates as a debate over civil liberties.

“We all want to put this pandemic behind us, but the decision to vaccinate is an individual choice and should not be mandated by the federal government,” Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP resistance to Biden FCC nominee could endanger board's Democratic majority Man charged with threatening Alaska senators pleads not guilty China conducts combat readiness drill after US congressional delegation arrives in Taiwan MORE (R-Alaska) said in a statement. “The federal government does not have the constitutional or statutory authority to take this action and to make this clear we will be exercising our congressional authority to overturn this rule with a Congressional Review Act resolution.”

Other Republicans supporting the challenge include Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyFacebook unblocks Rittenhouse searches GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Mo.), Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonConservatives target Biden pick for New York district court GOP anger with Fauci rises Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ark.), Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown MORE (R-Texas), Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Republican Conference Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant Barrasso calls Biden's agenda 'Alice in Wonderland' logic: 'He's the Mad Hatter' MORE (R-Wyo.) and Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight House passes bipartisan bills to strengthen network security, cyber literacy Senate nearing deal on defense bill after setback MORE (R-S.D.).