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Sens. Cruz, Marshall, Colleagues Move to Oppose Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Marshall, (R-Kan.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and over two dozen of their colleagues this week introduced a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would halt President Biden’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for virtually all healthcare employees and prevent any similar rule from being proposed in the future. U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Additional cosponsors of the resolution include Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

“As more of President Biden’s unlawful and authoritarian COVID vaccine mandates are challenged in court, I am proud to join my colleagues on this resolution of disapproval under the CRA to fight for the medical privacy rights of healthcare employees, so many of whom have heroically fought this pandemic from the very beginning. Many of these healthcare workers are under threat of being fired and denied unemployment eligibility due to this vindictive mandate. The federal government has no business ordering you to make healthcare choices that should be between you and your doctor, and I remain committed to leading the fight against these federal mandates.”

Sen. Marshall said:

“The Biden administration’s CMS vaccine mandate is a slap in the face to the hard-working men and women who never took a day off in the frontline fight of the COVID-19 battle. These heroes of the pandemic are being fired for choosing not to take the COVID vaccine, despite many of them having immunity through natural infection. As a physician, I’m confident the vaccine has saved lives; however, whether to receive it is a personal choice between individuals and their doctor – not mandated via executive actions. With this CRA, we are continuing to do everything in our power to fight for those who ran to the sound of the battle – for these are the true heroes of the pandemic and deserve our best fight and utmost respect.”

Sen. McConnell added:

“Our doctors, nurses, and first responders have been on the front lines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives and keeping our healthcare system running smoothly. Now, President Biden’s policies threaten to fire many of those heroic essential workers and exacerbate labor force shortages at our hospitals and first response systems. I have consistently urged everyone to receive their safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. I am pro-vaccination. But the federal government should not have the power to dictate individual medical decisions or place additional burdens on our healthcare system by placing mandates on these heroes.”

BACKGROUND

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a tool enabling Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies. As of yesterday, the CMS vaccine mandate has been halted by a federal judge in Texas who issued an injunction for the state.

Sen. Cruz has also joined efforts to block Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employers with over 100 employees, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) attempted to enforce before being halted by a federal appeals court. The Senate passed a CRA measure to disapprove and nullify the mandate earlier this month. 

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