GOP Senators Intend to ‘Defund’ Biden’s Federal Vaccine Mandate

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) asks questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss reopening schools during Covid-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 30, 2021. (Photo by Greg Nash / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Several Republican senators led by Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday pledging to block any funding of President Joe Biden’s “coercive” federal Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandate.

“This is wrong—morally, legally, and constitutionally. Accordingly, we will oppose all efforts to implement and enforce it with every tool at our disposal, including our votes on spending measures considered by the Senate,” the letter reads in part.

The lawmakers sent the letter a day before the Occupational Safety and Public Health Administration (OSHA) released an emergency temporary standard (EMS) on Thursday, which requires employers with more than 100 employees to “maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status” and enforce weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated workers. The rule, which involves “planned inspections,” goes into effect January 4, and those who fail to adhere will face fines beginning at $14,000 per violation.

Biden first announced the federal mandate on September 9, 2021, despite repeatedly promising to keep vaccination optional. Originally, the mandate was supposed to go into effect by December 8 — Sen. Marshall accused Biden on Thursday of putting off the mandate to avoid being blamed for more inflation and labor shortages heading into the holiday season.

“Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is going to create more supply chain blocks and that’s going to lead to more inflation – of course Joe Biden knows this so he’s decided to hold off on enforcement until after the holidays. I will continue to do everything in my power to put a stop to this unconstitutional mandate,” Marshall said in a statement.

In the letter to Schumer, senators pointed to several examples of how catastrophic vaccine mandates have already been for the workforce.

The letter continued [hyperlinks added]:

  • Chicago, which has no shortage of violent crime, may lose nearly one-third of its police force to the city’s vaccine mandate.
  • In New York City, sixteen percent of Emergency Medical Service workers and thirty percent of firefighters remained unvaccinated as of October 29th, which was the city’s deadline for these first responders to be vaccinated. The immediate result was the closure of twenty-six fire stations.
  • According to recent analysis by Roll Call, based on Pentagon data, as many as 400,000 troops have not received a single dose of the vaccine.
  • In addition to the impact on our troops, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes recently told CNBC that, as a result of the mandates, the company would lose several thousand of the defense contractors that support our military.
  • Trucking companies affected by the mandates could lose thirty-seven percent of their workforce, as estimated by the American Trucking Associations. This in the middle of a supply chain crises where the nation already faces a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers.
  • Recently, pilots for Southwest Airlines staged a protest of the impending vaccine mandate. In just one weekend, Southwest Airlines had to cancel 1,800 flights, costing the company $75 million.
  • According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, seven in ten unvaccinated workers (9% of all adults) would quit their job if required to get the vaccine.

The senators noted that those who have decided to remain unvaccinated will not “suddenly accept coercion” and that the choice is “their God given right.” They further said that any attempt to blame the “impending catastrophe” on the unvaccinated would be misplaced.

“President Biden chose to employ unnecessarily coercive methods. President Biden made a bet that he could force people to comply with his edicts by threatening their livelihoods. He was so sure of his winning hand that he wagered the machinery that allows our nation to function,” the letter reads. “When he loses that bet the blame will be fully his. It is wrong to gamble with people’s livelihoods. It is unwise to bet that Americans will cave to petty tyranny.”

The letter continued, arguing that Biden does not even have the constitutional authority to enforce his “breathtakingly vindictive” federal vaccine mandate.

“It does, however, vest in Congress — the branch of the federal government most accountable to the people at the most regular intervals — the exclusive power to fund all federal endeavors. We intend to use that power here to make sure that this mandate never takes effect,” they said.

“The American people have gone through enough. Please do not become an accessory to such a willful act of barbarism. The people stand with us on this issue because we stand with them, and neither we nor they take kindly to extortion. We invite and implore you to join us in our efforts to protect them,” the letter concluded, which was also signed by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

Lawmakers on the House side are also refusing to back Biden’s mandate. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) introduced a one-sentence measure to block the federal vaccine mandate on Thursday, coinciding with the release of OSHA’s requirement.

Brooks’s legislation, the Defund Federal Vaccine Mandates Act, is a one-sentence bill, which simply states that “no Federal funds may be used to establish, implement, or enforce any vaccine mandate.”

“Congress needs to be put on record on where they stand on this issue. I refuse to idly sit by as people lose their jobs and America becomes a scene straight out of 1984,” the congressman said.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.

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