President Joe Biden, his administration, and congressional Democrats suffered a major political defeat on Wednesday.
The Senate voted by a narrow majority to make null and void the president’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for the workers of all businesses with at least 100 employees.
Major Encroachment on Personal Constitutional Freedom
Ever since he announced the policy in early September, Biden’s vaccination mandate has faced determined opposition, based on the defense of constitutional freedoms of American citizens.
The enforcement of the vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers got suspended back in November by the courts, pending further court rulings. However, it hasn’t been killed off entirely. It has continued to weigh over the head of the American people, causing stress and worry.
The Biden administration has kept promoting the idea, leading to more and more companies adopting the policy without being forced to do so. The mandate has been debilitating business and economic activity for numerous companies.
One particularly worrisome provision of the now-suspended policy was allowing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to impose fines of more than $13,000 for any possible mandate violation.
That is why it relieved many Americans when the Senate voted 52-48 on Wednesday to adopt a resolution sponsored by GOP Senator Mike Braun of Indiana to kill the Biden vaccination mandate.
Besides the 50 GOP Senators, the resolution was also backed by two Democrat senators – West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Montana’s Jon Tester.
My statement on the bipartisan vote on my bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses: pic.twitter.com/QdnRPLoDV5
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) December 9, 2021
No Legal Consequences, but Political Defeat for Biden, Democrats
Senator Mike Braun initiated the anti-mandate resolution under Congress’s power to kill a policy of federal agencies if both chambers of the US legislature approve a resolution to that end, and it is then signed by the president.
Alternatively, if the president vetoes the document, Congress still theoretically can kill the policy it is against by overriding the presidential veto. As Democrats hold a majority of 221 over 213 Republicans in the House, it is unlikely the House is also going to adopt the resolution.
Nevertheless, it is still a major political victory for the Republicans and a defeat for the White House and the Democrat Party.
Sen. Braun, who sponsored the resolution, argued “Main Street job creators” have been complaining about the mandate. His colleague Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) declared about 40% of the workforce in her home state of West Virginia may become unemployed if the mandate is implemented.
Another GOP Senator, John Barrasso of Wyoming, warned the very nature of the Biden mandate may actually harden the opposition to vaccination. Some people who may have gotten the vaccine may decide not to, just out of principle.
Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, lambasted the resolution and those who are opposed to the administration’s vaccination mandate for large employers as obstacles to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
He blamed social media and “the far-right” for spreading false information about the vaccines. Schumer compared the “anti-vaxxers” to those who thought the sun was going around the earth.
Earlier this week, a White House statement made it clear Biden has been advised to impose a veto on the anti-mandate resolution if it somehow reaches his desk.
A federal court in Georgia has entered a nationwide injunction against the federal-contractor vaccine mandate.
Now ALL of the Biden Administration vaccine mandates have been halted.
Now, under my Order, vaccine mandates are not allowed in Texas.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 7, 2021