WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) voted to overturn President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private businesses through the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule. The CRA passed by a vote of 52-48. With Senate passage, the CRA now moves to the House of Representatives.
“The Constitution does not allow Joe Biden to impose this COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses. It is a blatant and obvious overreach of the federal government – and the good news is the courts agree. At a time when businesses are struggling, the Biden Administration is further shrinking the workforce by forcing Americans to choose between their job and their individual right and decision of whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Our bipartisan resolution protects personal liberties, our economy, and – above all else – the Constitution and personal privacy,” said Senator Cramer.
This Biden Administration rule strips personal freedoms from Americans and subjects private businesses to additional duress in the midst of the current labor shortages and supply chains disruptions. In short, this unacceptable federal directive impacts tens of millions of Americans and warrants review by Congress – the representatives elected by the American people to make the laws.
- On September 8, President Joe Biden announced vaccine mandates which extend to 80 million private sector workers and additional mandates on millions of federal workers and contractors.
- In early November, Senator Cramer and all 50 Republican Senators announced their plans to formally disapprove and nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees through the CRA. The formal challenge was filed on November 18, 2021.
- Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the Department of Labor (DOL) announced they have “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement” of the Biden vaccine mandate following a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which blocked the rule from going into effect.
- To implement this mandate, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Employers who fail to comply will be fined $13,653 for each offense and willful violations will result in a $136,532 penalty. This rule places unrealistic compliance burdens on employers—especially during a time where business and supply chains are already suffering serious constraints. For example, 30 days after publication, all requirements other than testing for employees must be in place. In addition, 60 days after publication, all testing requirements must be in place.
- The CRA can be used by Congress to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions through a joint resolution of disapproval. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto, the rule at issue is invalidated.