Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in a Wednesday appearance on Newsmax that Republicans are unanimous in standing against Joe Biden’s OSHA rule imposing a vaccine mandate on private employers of 100 or more workers.
The Senate voted 52-48 Wednesday afternoon to repeal the Biden mandate, and the measure now moves on to the House for a vote. If approved there, it would have to go to Biden himself, and he would be expected to veto the bill.
All 50 Republicans voted for the measure in the Senate as Paul had predicted. They were joined by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) in voting in favor.
Manchin said last week that he does not support any vaccine mandate that applies to private companies. He said at the time that he would be “strongly supporting” the move to override Biden’s OSHA mandate rule. Tester had also said in the days before the vote on Wednesday that he was “inclined” to vote to repeal the mandate.
Paul said that the bill is in a “special situation” as a privileged motion. He explained that Congress could vote to override any administrative regulation or administrative rule through the process.
He expressed less optimism that the measure would pass when it reached the House, as he expected Democrats to “march in lockstep” with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support the administration. However, if all 212 GOP House members vote for the measure, it would only take 5 Democrats to turn the tide.
For her part, Pelosi has said that she has no intention to bring the matter up for a floor vote in the House. If a majority of the House membership joins in a discharge petition, they can force a vote even if Pelosi does not formally present the bill.
Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) is the sponsor of the bill in the House, and he tweeted on Tuesday that he had all 212 Republican House members signed off on the measure as co-sponsors.
Because of the apparent Biden veto that will come even if the House passes the bill, Paul said there is “some symbolism to this.” Still, it is helpful to show the country that the Republican party is completely united against the unpopular mandate.
Several courts have already issued restraining orders against the mandate, and OSHA has suspended its actions in moving forward with the new rule as a result. It is uncertain whether the cases will end before the Supreme Court or how soon a final ruling will occur.