Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., plans on Thursday to introduce a one-sentence bill in the House of Representatives to block President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.
The Defund Federal Vaccine Mandates Act states that "No Federal funds may be used to establish, implement, or enforce any vaccine mandate."
The bill comes as the Biden administration announced Thursday that employees at companies with more than 100 workers will have to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or receive regular COVID-19 tests.
"Every single American should have the ability to make the best decision for them and their own health, without fear of losing their livelihood," Brooks said in a statement on his website. "The government should not try to intimidate, coerce, or force anyone into receiving the vaccine.
"Due to the rapid speed at which these vaccines were developed and distributed, and the growing list of side effects, hesitancy is understandable. Furthermore, it is none of the government's business who has or has not been vaccinated. The Socialist Democrats' pipe dream of discriminating based on vaccination status is wholly un-American."
Brooks said the time to act is now. "The American people deserve to know who is willing to stand with them to defend our Constitution, our freedoms, and the principles that have combined to make America the greatest nation in world history," Brooks said. "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.'"
Biden's action on the private-sector vaccinations was taken under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) emergency authority over workplace safety, officials said. The mandate applies to 84.2 million workers at 1.9 million private-sector employers.
Another 18.5 million workers for those employers are exempt because they either work remotely or outside all the time, OSHA said.
OSHA estimates that 31.7 million of covered workers are unvaccinated and 60% of employers will require vaccinations, up from 25% today, resulting in another 22.7 million employees getting vaccinated.
The administration's various vaccine rules cover 100 million employees, about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce, the White House said. OSHA will consider during a 30-day public comment on the private-sector rule expanding the mandate to cover businesses with fewer than 100 workers, officials said.
The private-sector mandate is likely to trigger a legal battle hinging upon the rarely used law on which the action was based and questions over the constitutional limits of federal power and authority over health-care practices. The administration said the action falls well within OSHA's authority.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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