A handful of conservatives in Congress are “privately planning” to force a total shutdown this week to pressure Dems to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate on private companies, according to Politico.
The news outlet, mentioning multiple anonymous GOP sources, reported this week that the lawmakers plan to stop the approval of an ongoing resolution to pay for the government into early next year unless Democrats agree to deny funds to enforce the mandate.
Congress will now consider the resolution — which currently has money to pay for the mandate — on Friday. But if this process gets dragged through midnight, funding will then expire.
President Biden unveiled his sweeping vaccination mandate back in September, ordering companies with over 100 employees to enforce their employees to get the vaccine against COVID-19. The mandate will affect over 80 million Americans.
However, backlash to this mandate was fast, as 27 states issued lawsuits fighting the order. Last month, OSHA suspended their mandate for private employers in reply to a court order.
Many GOP members in Congress have publicly argued against the mandate as a huge overreach by the administration, and now it seems that some are willing to support their words with real action. Given the 50-50 split right now in the U.S. Senate, the GOP would technically need only one objector to push beyond Friday’s deadline.
“I am sure we would all want to simplify the issue for dealing with the continuing resolution, but I cannot facilitate this without also dealing with the vaccine mandates,” one conservative, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), said to Politico in a comment.
“Given that the courts across the nation have raised serious concerns about these mandates, it is not unreasonable for my Dem colleagues to delay the enforcement of mandates for at least the time period of the ongoing resolution,” he said.
Politico said it is still unclear how many GOP senators will actually go through with their shutdown threat, but mentioned that 15 signed a letter written by Republican Senator Roger Marshall (Kan.) in early Nov. promising to “use every options at our disposal” to stop the mandate.
Author: Steven Sinclaire