FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After President Joe Biden announced his extensive federal vaccine requirements, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN3) drafted a bill to block the mandate.
Last month, the president mandated that all employers with more than 100 workers must require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. If the worker refuses, he or she must test for the virus weekly.
The mandate impacts about 80 million Americans, and roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid.
To combat this, Rep. Banks partnered with Claudia Tenney (R-NY22), to introduce a bill that would clarify that under existing law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to implement rules requiring Americans to undergo COVID-19 vaccinations or testing.
Rep. Banks told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee the Biden Administration is overreaching its power, and going above what the constitution allows.
“The constitution is clear: the President enforces laws and Congress creates laws,” said Rep. Banks. “This is another gross violation of that basic constitution principle that the Biden administration is completely ignoring. It’s unconstitutional, it’s wrong and the bill that I’ve introduced would reassert Congress’ power in the matter.”
Rep. Banks added that he drafted the bill because he heard the concerns from “thousands” of northeast Indiana residents who want to “rein this president back in.” He said that his constituents are afraid of how powerful the federal government is becoming “to force vaccinations, abuse private property rights and telling local businesses what to do at the local level.”
A survey of Americans on Biden’s plan to require most workers to get either vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 found that Democrats are overwhelmingly for it, while most Republicans are against it. The poll released last week by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that overall, 51% say they approve of the Biden requirement, 34% disapprove and 14% hold neither opinion.
Banks’ Health Freedom For All Act was introduced last week. To read the full text of the Health Freedom for All Act, click here.