Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who is 1 of 15 Republican senators planning a government shutdown over the funding of the Biden administration's COVID mandates, said Thursday on Newsmax that the conservatives are playing their hand to protect Americans.
"The courts have been on our side this week as they have reviewed these vaccine mandates, and we want to make certain that OSHA doesn't spend its money enforcing this mandate," the Tennessee Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."
"We're looking forward to taking the [continuing resolution] up next week so that we can review this and recall that executive order of a mandate."
The group of Senate conservatives plans to object to the quick consideration of a plan to extend funding until early next year if Democrat leaders don't agree to refuse the mandate funding.
Because of Senate rules requiring unanimous consent to move the resolution through quickly, only one senator is needed to object to keep an agreement from being reached before Friday's midnight deadline.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News Thursday that the government will not be shut down, and that Republicans will not move to block a stop-gap funding bill.
Blackburn pointed out that she has proposed legislation that will protect people who were designated as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic from losing their jobs if they refuse vaccinations, but denied that she is against vaccinations.
"What I am is anti-mandate and I've been vaccinated," she said. "I think people should talk with their physicians and if the [vaccine] is good for them, and then, of course, it is something that is an option for them. But it is not a federal bureaucrat's position to tell them how they need to handle their personal health care."
Blackburn said it would be "wonderful" to slow or stop the funding for OSHA to implement its mandate, and that it's a "positive step" to stop the rule.
"This is a freedom issue about people having the right to handle their healthcare," said Blackburn.
Democrats, she added, have made the situation worse when it comes to keeping the government going, as they still have not pulled themselves together on passing the National Defense Act.
"They're running everything, the House, the Senate, and the White House … they need to find a way to organize themselves and move forward."
Meanwhile, the administration's policy on the border when it comes to COVID is "so ineffective" that it's a "nonpolicy," said Blackburn.
"They're going to penalize people that are legally coming into the country," said Blackburn. "I've been [to the border] many times and you're out with the Border Patrol, and then you go over to the airport to get on the plane, you see that they're processing those that have illegally entered the country differently."
"Getting the omicron variant under control means being certain it doesn't spread in this country," she said, but protocols for people entering the county shouldn't be different depending on whether they come by ship or walk illegally across the nation's border.
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