11.03.21

Daines Moves to Strike Down Biden Vaccine Mandate Impacting Montana Businesses, Workers

Biden announced mandate will take affect Jan. 4

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines is continuing his work to block President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Montana small businesses. Following this morning’s release of Biden’s vaccine mandate rule and requirements for private businesses, Daines and Senate Republicans are moving to pass a measure that would strike it down. 

“President Biden’s vaccine mandate will hurt Montana small businesses and workers. While I will keep urging Montanans to talk to their doctor and get a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, I will continue to fight back against these mandates,” Daines said. “For over a year, we’ve done everything we can to help Montana small businesses keep their doors open and get folks back to work. Biden’s vaccine mandate will cause businesses to close their doors and force workers out.”

Daines is working to strike down the private business mandate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). A CRA is a process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule and must be brought up for a vote by the full Senate regardless of an agreement by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats. To pass, a CRA only needs 51 votes.  

This morning, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released their rule announcing private businesses with 100 or more employees would be required to vaccinate their employees or require unvaccinated employees to be subject to weekly testing and a mask mandate. This rule becomes enforceable on Jan. 4 and could see businesses hit with fines up to $14,000 per violation.  U.S. Senator Steve Daines is taking action to ensure this mandate never takes effect and moved to disapprove and nullify Biden’s vaccine mandate on private employees under the CRA.

On October 18, Daines cosponsored bills to protect Montana workers, small businesses from Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and prevent the federal government from imposing fines, fees or taxes on Montana small businesses that do not adhere to Biden’s mandate. Following his cosponsorship, Montana Chamber of Commerce President Todd O’Hair said: 

“Montana businesses see the Biden vaccine mandate in very grave terms, many going as far as to call it an existential threat to their business.  It’s a government mandated disaster, that creates regulatory and compliance nightmares, will devastate an already strained workforce and crush an economic recovery already weighed down by supply chain disruptions due to a lack of employees. Senator Daines obviously understands the threat this mandate poses to Montana businesses and our economy.  As this Administrative rule marches forward, time is not our friend.  We need an aggressive voice on behalf of Montana businesses and we appreciate the Senator taking this fight on behalf of Montanans.”

Hear from Tom Simkins, co-owner of Simkins-Hallin Lumber in Bozeman on how Biden’s mandate could hurt his employees and business.

Background:

While Daines is pro-vaccine, he is anti-mandate.

On Monday, Daines called on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reassess the vaccine mandate for Montana firefighters that could inhibit effective forest management and wildfire response in the state.

On October 12, Neptune Aviation wrote to Daines expressing the burden Biden’s mandate would put on its workforce and firefighting capabilities. Read the letter HERE.

In October, Daines urged President Biden to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandates which will hurt Montana businesses and threaten the livelihoods of Montana workers.

In October, Daines cosponsored a bill, the “Stop Vaccine Mandates Act,” to rescind President Biden’s executive order mandating federal contractors and workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the bill text HERE.

On September 16, Daines slammed President Biden for his top-down vaccine mandate, and questioned its constitutionality.

 

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Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler