The Senate and Federal Courts Spell More Trouble for Biden's Vaccine Mandates

On Wednesday night, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for private businesses with one hundred or more workers. The effort, led by Indiana Senator Mike Braun, saw bipartisan support with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Montana Senator Jon Tester crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. Politico explains that the bill utilizes the Congressional Review Act to get rid of the regulation:

Lawmakers employed a mechanism called the Congressional Review Act that offers a fast track for wiping out administrative rules. A companion petition in the House is still short of the 218 signatures needed to force a floor vote, and the White House has already promised to veto any disapproval measure that clears Congress. However, Wednesday's vote highlighted the ongoing challenges the administration faces in its attempts to end the pandemic and the deep divisions on Capitol Hill and around the country on how best to do so.

The vaccine mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees is already being challenged in court, but Republicans said they wanted to use the legislative maneuver rather than let the judicial process play out. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), the leader of the Senate petition, called the Biden administration’s rule “government in overdrive,” while Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) likened it to “authoritarianism” — even as they and other Republicans stressed that they personally support getting vaccinated.

As RNLA noted previously, support is waning for the Democrats' authoritarian strategy for dealing with the pandemic.

Biden's vaccine mandates also received a blow from the courts earlier this week. On Tuesday, a federal court in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction suspending the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. 

Reporting by The Federalist points out that Tuesday's decision (temporarily) marks an end to all civilian vaccine mandates issued by the Biden Administration:

Days prior to judicial action on the federal contractor mandate, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing their vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp in Missouri had already temporarily suspended the Biden administration’s vaccine requirements for health care institutions in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming that receive federal money. The ruling effectively prohibited hospitals and other healthcare entities in those states from getting rid of essential workers who have yet to get the COVID-19 jab.

In mid-November, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued and reaffirmed the suspension of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. The court ordered that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration “take no steps to implement or enforce” the jab requirement “until further court order,” forcing the agency to suspend its temporary rule.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of these cases on the merits will be, but one thing is clear. The Biden Administration will face push back from Republicans as long as it continues to push draconian mandates.