WH accuses GOP of 'getting in the way of saving lives' by fighting against ...

WH accuses GOP of 'getting in the way of saving lives' by fighting against ...
WH accuses GOP of 'getting in the way of saving lives' by fighting against ...

The White House is confident that it can beat any Republican challenges to its new workplace vaccine mandate and claimed Thursday the GOP is trying to block the Biden administration from saving lives.

'The question that we always have is and that we ask to the Republicans is why are they getting in the way?' Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Thursday's White House press briefing.

'Why are they getting in the way of trying to protect and save lives? That's all we're trying to do,' she added.

Jean-Pierre said the White House is 'pretty confident' the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules imposing compulsory vaccines on private companies will hold up in court against a slew of GOP lawsuits currently being filed.

'The administration clearly has the authority to protect workers and actions announced by the president are designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID,' Jean-Pierre said.

The rule, which requires private companies with 100 or more employees to impose vaccine mandates on their workers, was officially announced by OSHA on Thursday – immediately leading to a flurry of lawsuits from Republican states and entities.

'We have the legal authority,' Jean-Pierre assured on Thursday, adding that the bigger concern is people not working because they are sick, not quitting because of the mandates.

'People are sitting out of the workforce because of COVID concerns,' she explained. 'The worst disruption businesses have faced for nearly two years is their employees getting sick with COVID.'

Several Republicans immediately announced legal action on Thursday against President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate after details were released of the new rule affecting more than 80 million workers at private companies and federal contractors.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday he would join a lawsuit with Georgia, Alabama and private plaintiffs seeking to nullify Biden's rule.

'We've got to stand up,' the Republican Trump ally said during a press conference in Tallahassee. 'We've got to stand up for the constitutional order.'

The Republican National Committee is also suing Biden.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday Republicans are 'getting in the way of saving lives' by fighting back against Joe Biden's new vaccine mandates

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday Republicans are 'getting in the way of saving lives' by fighting back against Joe Biden's new vaccine mandates

'Joe Biden failed to shut down the virus like he promised – he couldn't do his job, so now he wants you to lose yours,' RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in a statement Thursday.

'While I am pro-vaccine, the Biden administration does not have the authority to force hardworking Americans to choose between being vaccinated and providing for their families,' she added. 'That's why the RNC is suing the Biden administration over this unlawful vaccine mandate and will maintain every legal option to fight this authoritarian overreach.'

The new rule comes as there are already concerns over impacts the mandates could have on the already stunted U.S. economy, which is experiencing a worker shortage and supply chain issues ahead of the holiday season.

'If you're asking if we think the rules impact supply chain, the answer is no, we don't think that it will,' Jean-Pierre said at Thursday's briefing.

Missouri's Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Arizona's Attorney General Mark Brnovich both announced Thursday their intentions to file lawsuits against the Biden administration on Friday.

'Our office will file a lawsuit tomorrow morning once OSHA rules are officially published that will mandate COVID-19 vaccine requirements for private employers with more than 100 or more employees,' Brnovich tweeted. 'Arizona will again take action to protect hard-working taxpayers.'

Schmitt, who is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, said: 'I've been in discussions with businesses in Missouri, including a trailer manufacturing company in mid-Missouri, who say that this vaccine mandate will crush their business.'

'We will be on file first thing [Friday] morning to halt this illegal, unconstitutional attempt by the Biden administration and the federal government to impose their will on thousands of Missouri businesses and millions of Missourians,' he added.

The Republican Attorney Generals from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee also filed a joint lawsuit against Biden's new 'unconstitutional' vaccine mandates for federal contractors on Thursday.

'The federal government contracts with private businesses and public agencies in states across the country, and the Commonwealth is no exception, meaning that numerous Kentuckians are subject to the Biden Administration's unconstitutional vaccination requirement,' Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron stated in a press release on the lawsuit.

'We are taking the issue of federal overreach seriously and will protect the livelihoods of countless Kentuckians and Kentucky businesses from overbroad mandates,' he added.

Both the private and federal contractor mandates from OSHA require that workers get the final – or only – dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by January 4, 2022. After the deadline, noncompliant companies can face fines up to $13,653 per unvaccinated worker.

The new rule also requires workers to get weekly testing if they do not get vaccinated, and the stringent testing regimes may need to be paid for out of employees' pockets.

McDaniel wrote in her statement announcing legal action on Thursday: 'This mandate is yet another attack on frontline workers, first responders, small businesses, and the rights of the American people.'

She also noted that by taking months to craft the rule and shifting the deadline to after the holidays to gain political capital, that Biden has negated justification for it to be considered an emergency to implement the mandate.

Jean-Pierre defended the consistent deadline, however, claiming that the administration wanted the avoid any confusion and 'level the playing field' for private companies and federal contractors.

OSHA staffers will be doing random inspections to check if businesses are complying and employees could have to pay for their own tests out of pocket. The agency is using emergency orders that usually deal with workers exposed to 'grave dangers' to enforce the standards. 

GOP lawmakers responded with fury and said some unvaccinated Americans were being forced to decide between putting food on the table or getting the shot, while retailers said the new rules will put an 'unnecessary' burden on businesses before the holiday season.

Red states are also likely to fight to stop the guidelines being put in place after the White House said they 'preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer's authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing.'

The stringent new rules have been put in place amid widespread backlash to mandates, including bids from furious Republicans who are trying to overturn it to keep people in their jobs amid fears of staff shortages and first responders being turned away from work in major cities.

On Wednesday San Francisco announced that children aged 5-11 will be forced to prove they've had the shot to enter restaurants and entertainment venues. The new rule comes just a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for children in that age group.

In a statement on Thursday, President Biden said vaccination requirements are 'good for the economy' and they will help send people back to work.

'For our country, the choice is simple: get more people vaccinated, or prolong this pandemic and its impact on our country. The virus will not go away by itself, or because we wish it away: we have to act. Vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic.' 

Companies with 100 or more workers will face fines up to $13,653 for each unvaccinated employee in the New Year

Companies with 100 or more workers will face fines up to $13,653 for each unvaccinated employee in the New Year

Sanitation workers in New York City are protesting the vaccine mandate, which has caused a slow down in pickups and has led to immediate garbage pileups in the city (shown here in Queens on November 3)

Sanitation workers in New York City are protesting the vaccine mandate, which has caused a slow down in pickups and has led to immediate garbage pileups in the city (shown here in Queens on November 3)

A large pile of trash accumulates along 54th Street in New York City on Wednesday as sanitation workers protest the vaccine mandate

A large pile of trash accumulates along 54th Street in New York City on Wednesday as sanitation workers protest the vaccine mandate

FINES, PAYING FOR WEEKLY TESTING AND DEADLINES: NEW OSHA RULES FOR 80 MILLION AMERICANS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued on Thursday a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

Impacted Companies:  

Private businesses and companies with 100 or more employees fall under the purview of the new rule

Requirements:  

All employees must receive their final – or only – dose of the coronavirus vaccine by January 4, 2022. 

If employees do not have their doses done by this date, they will need to receive weekly testing and produce a negative result. Employers do not need to pay for weekly testing. Instead, starting January 4, unvaccinated workers will need to pay out of pocket for their testing. 

Employees who are not vaccinated by the deadline will also be required to wear masks in their work place. The masking requirement goes into effect by December 5 for unvaccinated workers. 

Enforcement and Penalties: 

OSHA will enforce the new rule through inspections, whether planned or without advanced notice – just like any other workplace rule. 

Employers have the right to require OSHA compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite. 

Workplaces who are found noncompliant with the rule could face up to a $13,653 fine for each unvaccinated employee, the same standard for other violations. 

Repeat offenders or those found to be willfully noncompliant could face a maximum fine of $136,532. It is not immediately clear what constitutes a repeat offender. 

Other provisions:  

– The new rule preempts any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing. 

– Companies are required to start pay their workers by December 5 for the time it takes them to go get the vaccine and any days off if the event of side effects or recovery that prevents them from working. 

– Employees who test positive for COVID-19 myst be immediately removed from the workplace.  

– Employers may be required to pay for the weekly testing in the event of other laws or collective bargaining agreements.      

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Senator Marsha Blackburn said in a statement: 'Our economy is crumbling, and President Biden is doing everything in his power to make it worse. While businesses scramble to fill the 10.4 million open jobs in our country, Biden's vaccine mandate will push even more Americans out of the workforce.'

She also tweeted Thursday morning: 'Joe Biden is firing essential workers.'

Republican Representative Jody Hice insisted to DailyMail.com: 'American workers should never have to choose between their job or a vaccine.' 

'Millions of American workers will face job over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but many of them are unfortunately bound to tight non-compete clauses,' the Georgia lawmakers added. 'If terminated, these people will be held in workers' purgatory – they won't be able to earn a living, and they can't find a new job. How are they expected to put food on their table? This is unacceptable!' 

Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona said: 'Enough is enough.' 

'Since day one of the Biden Administration, federal agencies, like OSHA, have been weaponized against the American people,' he told DailyMail.com. 'OSHA has no right twisting the arm of the private sector and forcing ultimatums on employees' personal healthcare decisions. That's why my bill, the NOSHA Act, abolishes OSHA and its bureaucratic regulations. It's time to end the Big Brother state and fight back against these unconstitutional agencies.'

This week, Biggs introduced a bill to abolish OSHA after the agency created and imposed Biden's rule forcing private businesses to mandate coronavirus vaccines.

'OSHA's existence is yet another example of the federal government creating agencies to address issues that are more appropriately handled by state governments and private employers,' Biggs, an attorney and former president of the Arizona State Senate, said in a Tuesday press release.  

In a statement to DailyMail.com, New York Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney said the 'OSHA rule far exceeds the boundaries of executive authority.' 

'President Biden has made the decision to render our constitutional guardrails completely irrelevant,' she added. 'It is truly the point of

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