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EXCLUSIVE: The top House Republican on the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will take steps next week to block President Biden’s “unconstitutional” coronavirus vaccine mandate.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Fred Keller told Fox News Friday that, in coordination with GOP Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, Republicans will attempt to use the Congressional Review Act to nullify the executive order.
“The Congressional Review Act allows us as members of Congress to keep the executive branch in check when they release these mandates, and we’re exercising our constitutional authority,” Keller said in an interview with Fox News.
Rep. Fred Keller R-Pa., left, is leading Republican efforts to block President Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Starting Jan. 4, 2022, Biden has directed all private companies with 100 employees or more to enforce a vaccine requirement in an attempt to get vaccination rates up across the U.S.
“This is good for the workers, for their colleagues, for their loved ones and for their communities. And it’s also good for the economy,” the president said during an address to the nation Friday.
President Biden delivers remarks on the October jobs reports in the State Dining Room at the White House Nov. 5, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
But GOP lawmakers fundamentally disagree with Biden’s actions.
“The federal government does not rule over the people. States make up the federal government,” Keller told Fox News. “It is we the people that give the government its power, the government does not give power to the people.”
Earlier this week, Braun announced that he would be leading at least 42 other Senate Republicans in challenging the president’s executive order.
Fox News has learned that the eight other GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also support the move to utilize the Congressional Review Act to halt the president’s actions, but are awaiting procedural filings.
Lawmakers are looking to force a “privileged vote” on the House and Senate floors, which means Republicans will only need to achieve a simple majority to send it to the president’s desk.
Senator Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, center, walks to Senate Republican policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Though even if the resolution of disapproval makes it through Congress, it is likely to be struck down by a presidential veto.
Lawmakers would then need a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override the veto.
But beating a resolution of disapproval is not the only challenge Democrats will face.
The resolution will force every member of Congress to pick a side on whether they support vaccine mandates, a decision that could prove tough for moderate Democrats from traditionally red states, like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona.
Neither Manchin nor Sinema’s office responded to questions from Fox News on their stance regarding the president’s executive order.
“I would hope that anyone who’s looking at this Congressional Review Act would look at their duty as an American citizen and look at the constitutionality of what President Biden has done and support it,” Keller told Fox News.
“We’re taking this step to give the freedom back to the American people … and take it from a president that doesn’t have the authority to do this,” Keller added. “We’re standing up for the people that we represent, and we’re standing up for all Americans in making sure their constitutional rights aren’t infringed upon by an overzealous executive.”