U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., won Senate approval Wednesday for a resolution formally disapproving of President Joe Biden’s proposal to require businesses with more than 100 employees ensure their workers are protected against COVID-19 by vaccination or regular testing.
Led by U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., the U.S. Senate on Wednesday formally disapproved of President Joe Biden’s proposal to require businesses with more than 100 employees ensure their workers are protected against COVID-19 by vaccination or regular testing.
Two Democrats — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. — crossed party lines and joined all 50 Senate Republicans, including Braun and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., to support the resolution disapproving of the Democratic president’s policy.
Braun said he has no problem with the COVID-19 vaccine, believes America is lucky to have it, and he regularly advises Hoosiers that “unless you have a good reason not to, you should get the vaccine.”
At the same time, Braun proclaimed it “a bridge too far” and “overreach” for the federal government, through a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, to require businesses impose a COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing policy on their employees or potentially be fined.
“Hardly any transmission is occurring at the business level,” Braun claimed despite regular, widespread COVID-19 outbreaks at meat processing plants and other crowded manufacturing facilities in Indiana and across the country over the past 21 months. “And anybody that thinks this is a good idea, imagine the next time it happens when you’re on the wrong side of whatever the merits of the case would be,” he added. “That’s why, for me, it was easy to do.”
Braun’s resolution was made possible by the Congressional Review Act, enacted in 1996 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, which allows Congress to prevent a federal executive agency regulation from taking effect if both chambers object to the policy and the president agrees.
In this case, Braun’s resolution is unlikely to win approval in the Democratic-controlled House. Though Braun believes there may be just enough House Democrats concerned about their reelection prospects to get the rule repeal over the finish line.
But even if it passes the House, Biden has pledged to veto repeal of his vax-or-test rule, and Braun almost certainly will not be able to muster the two-thirds Senate and House majorities needed to override the president’s veto.
The rule is unlikely to take effect as scheduled on Jan. 4 anyway.
Multiple federal courts have issued rulings halting implementation of the policy in response to lawsuits filed by Republican leaders in several states, including Indiana. a