Americans for Prosperity is calling on Congress to take immediate action to reassert its authority and stop President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 mandate.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released details of the mandate on November 4. It required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure workers were fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 every week. It also decreed employers provide paid time for employees to get vaccinated and that all unvaccinated employees wear masks in the workplace. This mandate could not come at a worse time, and as the Fifth Circuit recently ordered in suspending enforcement, it “runs afoul of the statute from which [OSHA] draws its power and, likely, violates the constitutional structure that safeguards our collective liberty.”
Employers are just figuring out how to operate and keep people safe. Now, Washington is forcing them to navigate a sweeping, unlawful mandate or be punished. What’s more, this won’t help truly defeat COVID-19 — especially compared to the array of approaches already available: we have a choice of highly effective vaccines, advances in therapeutics, and people are free to take a number of precautions against COVID.
Instead, OSHA’s mandate would have far more damaging effects:
- It would pit employees against their employers in a time when they have been working together to create safe environments to stay afloat.
- It would push people out of work in the middle of a labor shortage and supply chain crisis.
- It would put COVID tests out of reach for those who actually need them.
- It would continue to erode trust in our institutions and stoke division in our communities.
While the 5th Circuit’s decision temporarily halts enforcement of this disastrous mandate, more needs to be done to prevent these consequences. Congress, through the Congressional Review Act, should overturn this executive order. As Americans for Prosperity Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner wrote in a recent letter to Congress, “AFP believes that this executive overreach erodes trust when we need it most and reflects an overly broad approach to our public health challenges. Resolutions of disapproval under the CRA represent an appropriate response for legislative accountability, reflecting the limited authority granted to the executive branch.”
The last thing Americans need is another barrier from an out-of-touch administration that thinks they can force private businesses to bend to their will with zero congressional involvement, public debate or oversight. Our country is founded on a system of checks and balances. This order goes well beyond the scope and authority of any government agency. Here in Pennsylvania, on May 18th, voters sent a clear signal that the restoration of checks and balances was sorely needed in Harrisburg when it came to emergency disaster declarations. No one branch of government can be allowed to have unchecked and unrestrained power to disregard our democratic system to impose a rule that threatens to upend the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.
Congress needs to act now. You can help encourage them. Please visit americansforprosperity.ivolunteers.com and sign the letter entitled “Biden’s OSHA Executive Order IS Dangerous and Must Be Overturned.” I’m Ashley Klingensmith, State Director with Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania. Find us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.
Ashley Sisca Klingensmith | State Director | Americans for Prosperity – PA