A group of Republican senators led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Monday penned a letter to their colleagues asking for their support to oppose the passing a measure until it explicitly ends funding for President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.
The group urged their colleagues to join them in opposing the passage of the Continuing Resolution until there is a roll call vote on an amendment that would defund the enforcement of the mandates.
“We have consistently opposed President Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which would force millions of Americans to choose between an unwanted medical procedure and being able to provide for their families,” Sens. Lee, Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote in the letter, reported Fox News.
The senators said that for now, they “will not consent to a time agreement that eases passage of the Continuing Resolution” and called on their colleagues to do the same.
“For legal, constitutional, and policy reasons, we remain not only strongly opposed to the mandates, but also firmly convinced that the risk of inaction on our part is unacceptably high,” they wrote.
“Millions of Americans are now free from this unwarranted federal invasion into health care decisions, but for how long?” the senators said.
The Republicans were referring to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which said on Jan. 25 that it will formally withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees.
The agency issued an announcement in the Federal Register that it will withdraw its rule, known as an emergency temporary standard (ETS), which required companies to make employees either get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing while wearing masks in the workplace.
It comes after the Supreme Court on Jan. 13 issued a 6–3 opinion blocking the rule, saying that challengers to the order, including large trucking companies, were likely to prevail in court.
“In addition to the lingering, harmful uncertainty faced by those subject to the four remaining COVID-19 mandates–specifically, those imposing vaccine requirements on medical workers, military personnel, federal employees, and federal contractors–the American people as a whole still face uncertainty as to whether President Biden has abandoned his desire to impose similar requirements on them,” the senators added.
“History will bear record of whether we chose to endure tyranny, or oppose it, in this pivotal moment. We invite you to stand with us and oppose the [Continuing Resolution] until it explicitly defunds the implementation and enforcement of these mandates,” they wrote.
The group urged their colleagues “at a minimum” to “take a vote on this before funding their enforcement.”
“The livelihoods and personal freedoms of millions of Americans are at stake,” they concluded.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.