In the biggest push yet by the federal government to get more Americans vaccinated, Biden called on the Labor Department and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to draft an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that would sanction the vaccination of some 80 million workers across the U.S.
“It is an infringement of every citizen’s fundamental rights,” Hawley wrote. “But most of all, it is an unlawful bypassing of established regulatory procedures.”
Hawley took particular issue with the president’s attempt to use the ETS protocol, which he said can only be used in cases where “employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards,” as listed under Title 29 in U.S. Code 655.
The senator asked Walsh to provide details on how the health risks affiliated with the coronavirus fulfill the requirements laid out in the referenced code.
He further questioned the legal authority of both the president and the OSHA in enforcing the vaccine mandate.
“I support vaccination, and I have encouraged individuals in my state to receive one, where it is consistent with their medical needs and religious faith,” Hawley said. “But vaccination should be an individual decision based on choice, not required by the federal government – or worse, required through midnight emergency regulations of the administrative state.”
The senator accused the president of walking back on his previous assertion that the federal government would not require a vaccine mandate.
Similarly, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky affirmed Biden’s promise and said in a July tweet, “There will be no nationwide mandate.”
“There will be no federal mandate,” she added.
Hawley said the reversal from the White House was not due to the slow pace at which Americans are getting vaccinated but alleged it was due to the “botched” withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“As President Biden has said himself, ‘We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin’. His inability to competently lead – to persuade his fellow Americans of a specific course of action – is no warrant for throwing aside the strictures of constitutional government in name of dictatorial power,” he added.
Fox News could not immediately reach Walsh or the Department of Labor for comment.