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A top Republican in the House of Representatives challenging a federal vaccine mandate says “all eyes are now on House Democrats” after the Senate passed a resolution to repeal the controversial order.
“We’ve got all the Republicans in the House on it,” Rep. Fed Keller, R- Pa., told Fox News Thursday. “And I’ve had very constructive conversations with colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
“It’s important for the American people to know that we trust them and respect them,” he added. “It’s their government, and we’re making sure that no executive thinks they have the power to rule over them.”
Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa., says “all eyes are now on House Democrats” after the Senate passed a resolution to overturn an OSHA vaccine mandate. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The congressman’s comments come just one day after the Senate passed a resolution to challenge an executive order that would require all companies with 100 employees or more to comply with federal vaccine or testing requirements.
Keller, in coordination with Sen. Mike Braun, introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act last month in an attempt to repeal the federal mandate.
Under guidelines issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers have until Jan. 4, 2022, to get their employees vaccinated or enforce weekly testing.
The order is expected to impact 84 million Americans who could face termination if they refuse to get shots in their arms.
Businesses could also face repercussions if they fail to enforce the mandate and could see fines as high as $14,000 per violation.
Though the resolution passed in the Senate on a bipartisan basis with Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., crossing party lines to support the challenge, it is expected to face tougher opposition in the House.
Reps. Fred Keller, R-Pa., right, and Rob Wittman, R-Va., arrive for the House Republican leadership elections at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Keller said he is “hopeful” the House will get the backing of at least five Democratic members needed to gain majority support and advance the resolution to the floor for a vote.
But even if the resolution gains the support of 218 House members, the challenge is likely to be struck down by a presidential veto.
“I would hope he would keep his commitment to the American people,” Keller said referencing the president’s previous pledges to work on a bipartisan basis.
“Either he works for them or he thinks he is able to rule over them,” Keller added. “This is not whether somebody should or should not be vaccinated. This is whether or not the government should tell somebody to be vaccinated.”