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Rubio, Braun, GOP Colleagues Oppose Biden Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers in Upcoming SCOTUS Case

Jan 3, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), 47 other Senators, and 140 Representatives in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in the upcoming case considering the Biden Administration’s top-down Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring private employers with more than 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or test weekly. The brief argues that Congress did not give OSHA the authority to impose a vaccine mandate and urges SCOTUS to stay the mandate. 
“Congressional members have an interest in the powers they delegate to agencies not being abused—the legislative authority vested in the federal government belongs to Congress, not the Executive branch,” the members wrote. “In this case, the promulgation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) of a sweeping, nationwide vaccine mandate on businesses intrudes into an area of legislative concern far beyond the authority of the agency. And it does so with a Mandate enacted through OSHA’s seldom-used ‘emergency temporary standard’ (ETS) provision that allows for bypass of notice and comment rulemaking under certain circumstances. That OSHA exceeded its authority in enacting the ETS Mandate is not a ‘particularly hard’ question.”
“Moreover, congressional members—as representatives of the people of their States and districts—have an interest in the citizens they represent being able to craft local solutions to problems facing their States and districts,” the members continued. “Federalism concerns should be addressed before requiring federally-imposed solutions. And this is especially true when the question at issue involves an area typically reserved to the States (such as vaccine mandates). At the least, Congress should be forced to make clear any delegations of authority into areas of State control.”
Read the full text of the brief here. For a full list of lawmakers who signed the brief, click here

  • On December 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers. The Department of Labor has stated it will begin enforcing the ETS on January 10, 2022. The Department will also give employers acting in good faith until February 9, 2022, before it will begin issuing citations for violations of the mandate’s testing requirements.
  • Several parties have filed petitions for review, and SCOTUS is set to hear oral arguments on January 7, 2022 on whether to issue an emergency stay of the ETS.

Past Rubio Efforts Related to OSHA Vaccine Mandate:

  • Voted in favor of an amendment (S.Amdt. 3831) to the continuing resolution on September 30, 2021 to prohibit the use of federal funds for implementing or enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses.
  • Cosponsored a joint resolution (S.J.Res. 29), which was introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) on November 17, 2021 and cosponsored by every Republican Senator.
  • Introduced Protecting Working Families from Federal Overreach Act to allow states to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds to pay the fines of private employers who fail to comply with the OSHA ETS.