WASHINGTON (WHTM) — Federal vaccine mandates have the potential to impact millions of Americans, but they aren’t happening without a fight.
Republican Congressman Fred Keller is leading that pushback in Congress. He says the vaccine mandates coming from Biden’s administration are a major government overreach.
“We’re standing up for the American people,” Keller said. “We should have the trust in the people to make the decisions with the consultation of their medical professionals, not the consultation of the government.”
The White House insists they get more people vaccinated and could save lives. President Biden has issued mandates for federal workers, federal contractors, the military, health care workers, and companies with 100 or more employees.
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“We know they work and we are confident in our ability legally to make these happen across the country,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
They say the vaccine requirement for federal workers has gotten 92% of that workforce vaccinated.
“Our implementation sends a clear message to businesses including federal contractors that similar measures will protect their workforce, protect their customers, and protect our communities,” Psaki said.
Courts have put the mandates impacting the private sector on hold.
Meanwhile, Congressman Keller is leading a fight in the House to use the Congressional Review Act to eliminate the federal vaccine mandate for businesses.
“This has nothing to do with whether somebody should or should not get the vaccine. This has to do with whether your government can tell you to do it or not,” Keller said.
With Senator Manchin on board, it’s likely to pass the Senate this week. But so far, only Republicans in the House support the effort and they’d need at least five House Democrats too.
Still, Congressman Keller says he believes it’s possible.
“This isn’t a right or left issue, it’s right or wrong,” Keller said. “I’m not going to work on anything that I don’t think there’s a pathway to success.”
Even if they do pass it, the president could veto it. That seems likely as his team continues to promise not to back down amid the challenges from both Congress and the courts.
“The Department of Justice will vigorously defend this in court, but we know it works. That’s why the president and the administration will continue pressing forward,” Psaki said.
Congressman Keller says he does trust the science and the vaccine and is thankful that we have the shots available. He also believes private businesses should be able to mandate vaccines for their workers if they want to do so.