Federal agencies Legislation Fines/penalties

Republicans’ bills aimed at banning fines tied to possible vaccine mandates

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Washington — Legislation recently introduced by House and Senate Republicans would prohibit the federal government from imposing a fine, fee or tax on workers or employers who don’t comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), S. 2843 was introduced Sept. 23 and referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. A week later, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced H.R. 5464, which was referred to the House Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, Oversight and Reform, and Ways and Means committees.

President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9 that OSHA is developing an emergency rule that will require employers with at least 100 workers to “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”

 

The bills are largely symbolic in the Democratic-controlled Congress and likely won’t advance out of their respective committees.

“Your decision about whether or not to get a COVID vaccine should be yours and yours alone,” Roy said in a press release. Lee added: “Many simply cannot incur the cost of this enforcement in this economy.”

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