On Wednesday, every Republican and 2 Democratic senators voted to overturn President Joe Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for private businesses with more than 100 employees.
In September, Biden announced that the Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration would require large companies to have all their employees tested for vaccine by January 4, 2022.
Legislative efforts to overturn the policy are likely doomed, as the measure is unlikely to pass the House and would be vetoed by the president.
GOP lawmakers have framed the private employer mandate as a strict vaccine mandate. The policy allows companies to decide if their employees can opt out of being tested for diseases on a weekly basis.
Conservatives in the Senate side with Republicans.
The vaccine and testing mandates will hurt the economy and amount to federal overreach according to Republicans and some Democrats. An appeals court ordered OSHA to suspend the policy after several Republican state attorneys general sued to overturn it.
Republican lawmakers mostly say they are pro-vaccine, but some are downplaying the severity of the current epidemic. The repeal of the rule was led by an Indiana Republican, who claimed without offering evidence that there were minimal risks of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace.
Braun said during a press conference Monday that it's hard to transmit at the business level or what you do during the day.
If the mandates are enforced, there will be an economic shutdown, brownouts, and inflation, warned Sen. Roger Marshall at Wednesday's GOP press conference.
Democrats argue that increasing vaccination rates is essential to protect the economy and workers at risk of contracting the virus in the workplace.
For the sake of Nevada's economy, I think it's important that we keep our businesses and people safe, and the only way we're going to do that is make sure we either get people vaccine or a test," she said. People can test.
Democrats warn that the rates of hospitalization for COVID-19 in their states are unsustainable and that vaccination is the only way out of the crisis.
New Hampshire has the highest rate of transmission in the country, according to Sen. "We need to make sure that people get vaccinations because our hospitals are at capacity."
The senator from Michigan told Insider that he was voting against repeal because he was tired of having a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
He said that he has no tolerance for people who are not getting vaccinations.
The rules for private businesses were the subject of a vote that both Manchin and Tester voted to repeal.
Manchin said in a statement that he would co-sponsor the measure and that he had long said that private employers should not be punished for protecting their employees.
Manchin is on Capitol Hill.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.
"My family and I are all vaccine free," Tester told Insider on Wednesday. I've heard from businesses that it's hard.
When asked how they would vote on Wednesday, the two senators facing tough re-election battles in Colorado and Georgia refused to say.
Both voted against the measure.
The Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are required for full vaccination status. Employers are now required to give paid time off for their employees to get vaccinations if they need time to recover from side effects of the shot.
The OSHA rule for private employers is different from federal mandates for healthcare providers, Medicare and Medicaid providers, and federal government contractors.
Republicans and other critics argued that those who have recovered from COVID-19 should be exempt from getting vaccinations.
Some studies have found that a COVID-19 infection provides some immunity, but those who are vaccine free have better protection against reinfection. It's not feasible to exempt people who've been exposed.
Republican lawmakers argued that opposition to the vaccines will be hardened by the workplace rules. The number of people who have been vaccined has increased in recent months. Republicans insist that workers are being punished unfairly.
"If you want to earn a paycheck in America, you have to get vaccinations, but if you want to collect a welfare check under Joe Biden's economy, then it doesn't matter to him," said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso.