Murkowski Welcomes Supreme Court Decision Blocking Biden’s Vaccine Sweeping Mandate for Businesses
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its vaccine and testing mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) order for larger businesses to either require vaccines or have a masking and testing policy.
“I join many Alaskans in welcoming the Supreme Court decision to uphold the stay on OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) today. From the start, I have questioned the constitutionality of the Biden administration’s mandate that employers with more than 100 employees require that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing and mask wearing. Not only is it an overreach by the federal government, but Alaskan employers continue to tell me that the mandate would have tremendous negative impacts on our workforce and economy. In the midst of severe testing and workforce shortages and businesses struggling to stay open, Alaskan employers should not also have to deal with a federal mandate which could make the labor shortage even more acute. Nor should employees be forced to choose between a vaccine they don’t want, inaccessible and, time consuming testing, or losing their jobs,” said Senator Murkowski. “While I am fully vaccinated and encourage others to do the same, the federal government does not have the authority to mandate vaccinations through this ETS. I’m glad that the Supreme Court recognized that the U.S. Senate spoke loud and clear on this and came to the same conclusion—that OSHA exceeded its authority in enacting the mandate.”
- On September 8, President Joe Biden announced he was directing federal agencies to move forward on vaccine mandates for private sector workers and federal workers and contractors.
- On November 4, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandating that private employers with at least 100 employees ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 or are tested weekly and wear masks when working near other employees indoors.
- On November 17, Senator Murkowski joined her Senate Republican colleagues in introducing a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the OSHA ETS rule.
- On December 8, Senator Murkowski voted to overturn the vaccine and testing mandate by voting for that joint resolution, which passed the Senate by a vote of 52 to 48.
- On January 3, Senator Murkowski joined a bicameral amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court supporting a stay of agency action on the OSHA rule until the case is resolved.