Sen. Lankford introduces legislation to repeal President Biden’s vaccine mandates on federal workers

Washington
FILE - Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/New York Times, Pool via AP)

FILE – Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/New York Times, Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (KFOR) – U.S. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced legislation to stop President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates on federal employees and contractors.

Lankford filed the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act on Tuesday.

“President Biden’s Executive Order excessively exceeded his power. Every American should be able to make the decisions that are best for them and their families. My family made the choice to get the vaccine, and I encourage every Oklahoman to get vaccinated. But no American should be forced to be vaccinated. The Stop Vaccine Mandates Act rescinds Biden’s Executive Orders—no American should have to choose between their conscience, their health, and their job.”

Biden announced sweeping vaccine mandates for a large swath of the nation’s workforce on Sept. 9 as part of his six-pronged plan to combat the highly contagious Delta variant’s rapid spread across the nation.

Biden’s plan requires businesses with over 100 employees to mandate COVID vaccines or regular testing.

The plan also states that healthcare and education workers who receive federal funds, as well as federal employees and contractors, must be vaccinated.

Biden anticipates the plan will impact around 80 million Americans.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you,” Biden said.

The plan also ramps up production on face masks and COVID-19 tests, improves care for COVID patients and encourages states to require vaccines for employees.

Image of james lankford
FILE – Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Washington. Lankford, whose voting record in the Senate has aligned with former President Donald Trump’s position nearly 90% of the time, finds himself under fierce attack by a challenger in his own party. Similar scenes are playing out in other red states where ultra right-wing challengers are tapping into anger among Republicans over Trump’s election loss and coronavirus-related lockdowns. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Lankford previously sent a letter to President Biden outlining his concerns.

A news release from Lankford’s office states that the senator will “back efforts to disapprove of any rules mandating vaccines for private companies and their employees and also introduced the COVID-19 Vaccine Dishonorable Discharge Prevent Act to prohibit the Department of Defense from giving service members a dishonorable discharge for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Several Republican governors have threatened lawsuits against Biden’s mandates. The President simply responded, “Have at it.”

Several legal experts Biden appears to be on firm legal ground to issue the directive in the name of protecting employee safety, according to a Nexstar article.

“My bet is that with respect to that statutory authority, they’re on pretty strong footing given the evidence strongly suggesting … the degree of risk that (unvaccinated individuals) pose, not only to themselves but also unto others,” said University of Connecticut law professor Sachin Pandya.

“It’s clearly constitutional for President Biden to impose a mass mandate on employers, employing more than 100 people,” said Stewart Harris, a constitutional law professor at Lincoln Memorial University, citing the Commerce Power from Article One in the United States Constitution. “It gives Congress the authority to regulate businesses that have a significant effect on interstate commerce, which of course, any company of that size, probably would.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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