As private businesses await a final decision about whether they will have to require vaccinations or mandatory testing for their employees, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution Wednesday evening to nullify that mandate from President Joe Biden.
The mandate, developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), would apply to businesses with 100 employees or more and would impact around 84 million workers across the nation. It is currently temporarily halted after a November ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
However, many companies across the nation have been prepping to comply with the mandate which has a compliance deadline set for January 4, 2022.
The opposition to the mandate brought by Senate Republicans led to the vote in the Senate Wednesday. The Congressional Review Act (CRA), which was enacted in 1996, sets up a fast-track process in the Senate that allows the minority party to force a vote on a resolution to disapprove of a federal rule. The CRA, however, does not have a fast-track process for the House.
The resolution would face a harder time in the House but if there are enough signatures for a discharge petition by members, the petition could force a floor vote on the issue.
There are several court cases around the country challenging Biden’s vaccine mandates. On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia said the president’s vaccine requirement for federal contractors exceeded his authority. This ruling halted the vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.
The resolution will now move to the House as the issue remains in front of the courts at the same time.
The Kentucky Chamber continues to be a strong advocate for vaccination to control the spread of the virus, but believes the recent filing of the OSHA emergency temporary standard that requires certain employers to mandate vaccines or testing is an attack on employers’ rights.
Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates on this issue.