[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 200 (Wednesday, November 17, 2021)]
[House]
[Pages H6360-H6364]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     VACCINE MANDATES NEED TO STOP

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 4, 2021, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Keller) for 30 minutes.


                             General Leave

  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that each Member 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?

[[Page H6361]]

  There was no objection.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I have said it before and I will say it 
again: The greatest threat that this pandemic has imposed on the 
American people is growing government control over their lives.
  A stalled supply chain, exploding inflation, and a crisis at our 
southern border are all issues that require immediate attention. Yet, 
the Biden administration is not addressing any of these issues.
  Instead, President Biden thinks it is a good idea to ignore the 
crisis he created and impose a crushing Federal vaccine mandate on 
businesses that will affect more than 80 million Americans and decimate 
our workforce.
  My colleagues and I have had enough with President Biden's tone-deaf 
mandates.
  Today, I was joined by all 50 Republican Senators and 107 Members in 
the House in introducing a Congressional Review Act to nullify 
President Biden's vaccine mandate on America's workers and businesses.
  This mandate is illegal, and we are fighting to stop it. I am joined 
by my colleagues this evening to explain why we need to stop this.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. 
Miller).
  Mrs. MILLER of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Keller 
for yielding. It has been great starting the day today in prayer for 
our country and now finishing with this Special Order.
  The Fifth Circuit blocking OSHA's COVID mandate is a huge win for the 
American people, but Biden and the far left aren't going to give up 
this power grab without a fight.
  This vaccine mandate would destroy what is left of our economy and 
make Americans less safe.
  We are forcing people to quit their jobs with unconstitutional 
mandates from an out-of-control Federal Government.
  This mandate is causing the American people to be less safe by making 
firefighters, police officers, Border Patrol, and nurses to choose 
between the jab or their job.
  If U.S. military members are discharged, China and our adversaries 
stand to be the beneficiaries.
  Natural immunity is completely ignored because natural immunity 
doesn't have a lobbyist here in D.C.
  We cannot sit idly by while the government works to centralize the 
personal health information of Americans. Americans have the God-given 
right to the pursuit of happiness, and we will not bow to king Biden 
and his unconstitutional edicts.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. 
Mann).
  Mr. MANN. Madam Speaker, I thank Congressman Keller for hosting this 
Special Order and for his hard work and leadership.
  I rise today with you and scores of our colleagues to call for 
congressional review of President Biden's vaccine mandates.
  During his tenure in the White House, President Biden has 
circumvented this Congress to issue multiple executive orders imposing 
vaccine mandates on all Federal employees, Federal contractors, 
healthcare workers, and even private businesses with more than 100 
employees.
  These mandates are forcing Americans to choose between their 
paychecks and their principles.
  I have heard from multiple agents at the USDA's Farm Service Agency 
who have chosen to resign rather than receive the vaccine. Just a year 
ago, these same agents were deemed essential, connecting vital 
resources to farmers and ranchers, and today, they are out of a job.
  Congress should immediately review these mandates in full and take up 
legislation like my bill, the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act, which would 
have prohibited OSHA from implementing a vaccine mandate on private 
businesses altogether.
  Anyone who wants to receive a vaccine should do so, but that is a 
personal healthcare decision. It is not an arena for mandates from the 
government, and I am deeply disappointed by President Biden's policies 
and lack of responsible, legitimate concerns surrounding them. I will 
continue to push against these overreaching mandates with all of us and 
will fight to protect the freedoms of the American people.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Allen).
  Mr. ALLEN. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, Mr. Keller, for 
leading this important effort in letting the American people know that 
we are fighting for you.
  As I said since day one, folks should consult with their doctor and 
get the vaccine if they are able. But instead of allowing local 
healthcare providers and communities to instill confidence in the 
vaccine, the Biden administration is choosing to push a top-down 
government mandate, which does not work and will never work.
  It comes down to this: Workers across the country are facing the 
choice to get vaccinated or lose their job.
  This is the epitome of government overreach. Every American has the 
right to earn a living.
  While I believe this mandate is likely unconstitutional, I look 
forward to watching it continue moving through the courts.
  It is also our duty as Members of Congress to fight this 
legislatively. That is why it is important to exercise our authority 
under the Congressional Review Act to nullify this rule.
  I am proud to fight for over 80 million workers who will be impacted 
by this overreaching mandate by ensuring this rule has no force or 
effect.

  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin 
(Mr. Grothman).
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Madam Speaker, like all other Congressmen, I am sure, 
my office has received many calls from people objecting to the OSHA 
rules and the CMS rules related to employees of hospitals.
  It amazes me, the number of articulate doctors and nurses and other 
employees out there who have good reasons not to take the vaccine. 
Whether their doctors have told them don't take it because you already 
have antibodies, you have too many antibodies, the vaccine is going to 
make you sick; whether it is doctors who tell their patients you better 
not take the vaccine, your cancer is in remission, the vaccine can 
weaken you and bring it back.
  Again and again, it appalls me that doctor Biden decides to weigh in 
and knows better for these people than what their own doctors do, not 
to mention there are plenty of things on the internet--which may be 
true even though they try to take them down and keep us in the dark--
indicating that some very articulate people believe the vaccines are 
not for you anyway, and there are other ways to deal with the problem.
  It is such a gross grab of power to think you can tell other people 
what they have to do with their own bodies. I sure hope America stands 
up and says no to this kind of hatred and arrogance.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma 
(Mr. Hern).
  Mr. HERN. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Keller) for hosting this Special Order this evening and for leading the 
charge on the Congressional Review Act.
  President Biden is characterizing his agenda with three simple words: 
Build Back Better. More appropriately, it should be build back broke.
  Our economy is in shambles, our supply chain strained to the breaking 
point, and inflation is out of control, and our friends across the 
aisle refuse to recognize that. At the heart of all these lies, lies a 
devastating labor shortage.
  A few commonsense measures would address these problems to bring an 
end to the many crises, but President Biden instead chose to mandate 
vaccinations for workers, forcing small businesses to either fire their 
workers or face large fines.
  Earlier today, OSHA announced that it will suspend enforcement of 
Biden's immoral and unconstitutional vaccine mandate after being 
blocked by the Fifth Circuit Court. Biden and his puppeteers knew that 
this mandate would likely not be held up in court but still went 
through with it anyway, proving their allegiance to the radical 
socialist mob rather than to the Constitution of these great United 
States.
  To every American who raised your voice up and stood up to the gross 
Federal overreach, this victory is for you. I am proud to stand with my 
colleagues in opposition to this government overreach.

[[Page H6362]]

  

  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Carter).
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  I rise today in opposition of the President's unconstitutional 
vaccine mandate.
  Today, OSHA finally suspended enforcement of its vaccine mandate in 
response to the Fifth Circuit Court's ruling earlier this month. The 
only reason this happened is because Republicans and the people 
demanded that our rights be protected and used the power given to us by 
our Constitution to defend those rights.
  And we can't stop now.
  If these mandates are about public health, why do one-third of 
physicians disagree with them?
  If these mandates are responding to an emergency, why do they not 
take effect until January 4?
  If the mandates are based on science, why are we only looking at 
vaccine status and not natural immunity?
  It is because Washington Democrats are trying to control you, not 
protect you.
  Democratic leaders can't seem to follow their own rules and 
expectations. They party and gather with no masks, yet they expect 
their constituents to wear a mask at gatherings or even not gather at 
all.
  President Biden, hypocrisy is not a viable COVID-19 mitigation 
strategy.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. 
Carl).
  Mr. CARL. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pennsylvania for 
his leadership on this issue.
  Madam Speaker, I rise to oppose President Biden's unconstitutional 
vaccine mandates on our businesses.
  I believe this vaccine is effective. That is why I took it, and that 
is the reason my family has taken it. But I strongly believe getting 
the vaccine should be a personal choice, not a mandated choice.
  The Federal Government has no right to mandate the vaccine on job 
creators or workers who are already struggling to recover from this 
pandemic and to get our supply chain back working properly again. The 
last thing they need right now is more government rules and 
regulations, and that is all we are seeing out of this administration.
  The American people are fed up with it. They are fed up with Big 
Government overreach in our lives.
  That is why I am proud to stand with so many of my colleagues to 
introduce this Congressional Review Act resolution, which would 
officially strike down President Biden's illegal vaccine mandate on our 
businesses.
  We will continue doing all we can to fight back against President 
Biden's war on American workers, and I urge my colleagues on both sides 
of the aisle to stand with us.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Walberg).

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. WALBERG. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, today, we are here to take a stand against President 
Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandate on private businesses and 
their employees. And in the end, I think it is clear that we need to 
make sure we understand this is unconstitutional, this goes against the 
American way and the American ideals.
  By invoking the Congressional Review Act, we are taking an important 
step to protect the liberties of millions of Americans in the 
workforce, and more importantly, to protect American ideals and the 
freedoms that we expect.
  In his first year as President, President Biden has led a lackluster 
economic recovery plagued by record inflation, supply chain backlogs, 
and workforce shortages. The President's coercive mandate will only 
worsen issues within the workforce as millions could face termination--
wrongly and unnecessarily.
  I have heard from many constituents concerned about their 
livelihoods. Small businesses concerned about keeping their doors open. 
Rural healthcare providers concerned about meeting staffing demands and 
even staying in business. While I am encouraged to see the early court 
rulings on this issue, and OSHA's step to back up a little bit today, 
Congress must not stand on the sidelines.
  Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pennsylvania for his 
leadership in introducing this legislation, and I am proud to be a 
cosponsor.
  We have had enough topdown mandates.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. 
Foxx), a great mentor, an outstanding person, my good friend.
  Ms. FOXX. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank him for leading this Special Order tonight.
  Madam Speaker, the Biden administration's unprecedented OSHA vaccine 
mandate is a massive power grab. This national diktat was recently 
found likely to be unlawful by the Fifth Circuit and it stretches the 
power of the Federal Government beyond recognition. Requiring employers 
to be the vaccine and testing police and telling them who they can and 
cannot employ is a bridge too far.
  Further, this mandate will crush businesses with exorbitant costs 
while exacerbating the worker shortage. Why would the Biden 
administration make this crisis worse? It is clear that the Biden 
administration is using this pandemic as an excuse to inflate the power 
of the Federal Government as far as possible. That is what we must 
resist.
  To get our economy back on track, we don't need more crippling 
mandates and regulations, we need to support workers and job creators.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. 
Burchett), my friend and colleague.
  Mr. BURCHETT. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Keller), and thank him for his better-than-lackluster handling of 
this event tonight. It is much appreciated.
  Madam Speaker, for the past several weeks, I have been coming down 
here to make the point over and over again that Joe Biden's vaccine 
mandate is ridiculous and unconstitutional. Many of my colleagues have 
done the same. We all agree that no American should lose their job for 
deciding not to take the coronavirus vaccine.
  Today, our efforts paid off. Biden's Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration announced just a few hours ago that it is suspending 
plans to implement a vaccine mandate on large employers. The 
bureaucrats saw the writing on the wall after a court blocked the 
vaccine mandate last weekend.
  The victory doesn't mean the fight is over. Joe Biden's 
administration will try again to punish Americans who decide not to 
take the shot. As a matter of fact, they are even advising some to just 
disregard the court order.
  Madam Speaker, I appreciate Mr. Keller for leading this effort to 
overturn Biden's vaccine mandate. It is good to know we have this 
legislative measure ready to go if Biden launches another attack on 
unvaccinated Americans.
  Madam Speaker, many Americans still have questions about the 
coronavirus vaccine. They should have the freedom to make the choice 
that is right for them without government threatening their jobs. Our 
country is a symbol of personal liberty and freedom, a government 
vaccine mandate is out of touch with these values.
  We have a responsibility to preserve our Nation's values to protect 
our constituents from extreme government overreach.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to gentleman from Texas (Mr. Pfluger).
  Mr. PFLUGER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Keller), my colleague.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today to shed light on the outrageous 
overreaching vaccine mandate that is devastating the lives of 
Americans, including those that I represent.
  Everywhere I go in my district, I hear from workers across all 
sectors who are facing the prospect of being fired. And why? Simply 
because Joe Biden and the White House think that they know better, that 
they have made a different medical decision than the powers that be in 
the White House.

[[Page H6363]]

  A few examples of calls that I have received just this week: A soon-
to-be-mother who doesn't want to take the vaccine until after she gives 
birth is facing termination. The countless healthcare workers who have 
sacrificed so much for the last year-and-a-half-plus to save the lives 
of all of us to be there to serve us, and now they are facing 
termination. A married couple recently moved to San Angelo during the 
pandemic in search of freedom and personal liberty that Texas 
so desperately promises the rest of the country. And now the husband, 
an Air Force veteran and a Border Patrol agent, faces termination due 
to President Biden's egregious Federal overreach.

  It is about control. This is about control. This vaccine mandate is 
another example of Democrats' belief that the government should control 
every aspect of our lives.
  America, wake up. The message is the same: That the President thinks 
he knows better for you than you know for yourself. We must strike down 
Biden's unconstitutional vaccine mandate now.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman very much for those 
remarks.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Moore).
  Mr. MOORE of Utah. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from 
Pennsylvania.
  Madam Speaker, today, I stand in opposition to President Biden's 
vaccine mandate on businesses issued by the Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, or OSHA.
  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that the Biden 
administration is severely misusing his power. While OSHA's delegated 
authority was intended to be used with precision and tact, President 
Biden has wielded it carelessly.
  Just yesterday, in keeping with the Fifth Circuit's ruling, OSHA 
itself suspended implementation of this mandate. Even so, my colleagues 
and I in Congress know we, too, must fight against this mandate.
  The COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of modern medicine and has saved 
lives and quickened the end of the pandemic.
  My family has embraced it. I am comfortable with my parents having 
used this to live a more outward life, but we cannot forget that 
America is founded upon principles enshrined in our Constitution that 
protect an individual's ability to make their own decisions.
  When I swore to uphold the Constitution, I promised to fight against 
efforts to undermine these rights, and I stand by that oath today.
  Madam Speaker, I urge support for this CRA.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for those comments.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Estes), my 
good friend and colleague.
  Mr. ESTES. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for hosting this 
Special Order.
  Madam Speaker, following the Biden administration's overreaching 
mandates, hundreds of Kansans have shared their concerns with me about 
how this would affect their jobs, livelihoods, and families.
  One vaccinated individual wrote saying, ``I would love for people to 
be vaccinated, but mandating a vaccination, and even worse, making the 
employers the enforcers, is yet another example of government pushing 
more onto the plates of business managers.''
  Others tell me how they have been at the same company for decades, 
some near retirement and some who continue to work faithfully in person 
each day through the pandemic, especially our first responders and 
healthcare workers, yet they are being demoted or forced to retire or 
resign because they made some personal healthcare choices. One teacher 
wrote, ``My doctor and I discussed the vaccine and deemed it would not 
be good for me to get it.
  Madam Speaker, these Kansans aren't anti-vaccine, they just don't 
believe that the Federal Government should be forcing them and their 
neighbors to make a healthcare decision or lose a job.
  My colleagues and I are utilizing the Congressional Review Act to 
attempt to strike down one of these mandates, hopefully putting an end 
to this overreach by the administration and the Federal Government.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the good gentleman from Kansas.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Smucker), my good friend and fellow Pennsylvanian.
  Mr. SMUCKER. Madam Speaker, I thank Mr. Keller for his leadership on 
this issue. My wonderful colleague from Pennsylvania introduced the 
Congressional Review Act, and I rise today in strong support of this 
act, which would block President Biden's misguided and, frankly, I 
think unconstitutional mandate. I thank him for his efforts and I am 
very, very happy to be able to support that.
  Madam Speaker, I will say first, that I think the U.S. and what we 
have accomplished in developing a vaccine through Operation Warp Speed 
was a remarkable achievement of science and of a system in our country 
that develops the best medical system and the best drugs from across 
the world. And to be able to do that in the amount of time that it was 
done and to manufacture those drugs in a large scale is nothing short 
of amazing.
  Personally, for myself, my family, we have discussed this with our 
doctor. We got the vaccine early on when it became available. And I 
have encouraged Pennsylvanians to speak with their own doctors and make 
their own decisions about the direction they want to take. And many 
Pennsylvanians have, and I think Mr. Keller knows this as well.
  We now are at over 70 percent of our Commonwealth vaccinated, which 
begs the question for me: What ever happened to herd immunity? What 
ever happened?
  Every one of us were in the room early on during this vaccine when we 
heard from Dr. Fauci and heard from other experts who talked about herd 
immunity. And they were talking about herd immunity being achieved when 
about 70 percent--or even less after we learned that COVID was not as 
fatal as was originally feared. At that point, we could do away with 
government mandates--many that were unnecessary in the first place, by 
the way--but we could reopen the economy and could control COVID; 70 
percent. We are there, but nobody is talking about it anymore. CDC 
doesn't talk about it. This administration doesn't talk about it. What 
happened?
  Madam Speaker, so I agree, there has got to be something else going 
on. And other speakers tonight have talked about it. There has got to 
be something more, and I fear it is control. It is control that people 
want.

  I think we should trust the science. I think you should listen to 
your medical professionals. Certainly, it shouldn't be government 
topdown mandates.
  I hear from employers every day who are worried that this mandate 
will further harm their ability to hire and retrain staff. They are 
already having a lot of problems due to some of the policies of this 
administration, but this will make it a lot worse. And I also hear from 
employees every day that are worried that this mandate may threaten 
their jobs and may threaten their livelihoods.
  I have been heartened that over half of States have sued the 
administration to reverse this mandate, and I have also joined with my 
Republican colleagues from Pennsylvania to call on our attorney general 
in our State to join that litigation.
  Madam Speaker, I stand ready to oppose this mandate; do everything 
that I can to block this and any vaccine mandates that this White House 
puts forth.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Mr. Keller for his leadership.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
LaMalfa), my good friend.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman and appreciate him 
hosting this Special Order for us here tonight.
  Madam Speaker, so what do we have? The Biden administration has been 
trying to keep their fingerprints off of it for a long time. They have 
been trying to let others do their dirty work; the airlines, the 
hospitals, forcing these vaccines on people. Why is that? They

[[Page H6364]]

don't want to have their fingerprints on it.
  So now they are getting impatient. You can go back and look at clips 
where they say, Oh, it is not the role of the Federal Government, by 
Jen Psaki, by others in the administration. It is not our job. We are 
not supposed to do this. Now they don't care. They are pushing forward.
  So the Fifth Circuit came in and said, You are going overboard by 
getting OSHA to do the dirty work for you. They said it was 
``staggeringly overbroad,'' and they told them take no steps to 
implement or enforce the mandate until further court order. It raises 
serious constitutional questions. It likely exceeds the Federal 
Government's authority.
  So they have stepped out of line and they have been slapped back. It 
is amazing, because the people on the front lines this year-and-a-half 
our nurses, doctors, and others that are called the essential 
employees, have been playing good ball. Now, they are being told, Oh, 
that is not good enough anymore. You can't have your job anymore unless 
you take this vaccine.
  Personal decisions. You can't undo a vaccine once you have had it 
taken. And so the aggressiveness of this administration towards 
people's personal decisions is just amazingly overbroad. I am really 
pleased we are doing this Congressional Review Act to nullify OSHA's 
mandate that has been, at least for a while, set aside by the Fifth 
Circuit Court and hopefully joined across the street by the Supreme 
Court.
  Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for the time.

                              {time}  1900

  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I appreciate the remarks from the 
gentleman of California and all the Members who stood here today. I 
thank my colleagues in both the House and the Senate for standing with 
the American people in opposition to this blatant overreach by 
President Biden.
  Our Congressional Review Act resolution puts every Member of Congress 
on record. You are either for this blatant government overreach and 
control, or you are against it. You are either with this kind of 
control, or you are with the American people.
  Well, I will tell you right now, my colleagues who spoke here today, 
the people who are helping with this Congressional Review Act, my 
colleagues in the Senate, we are with the people for whom we work. We 
are with the American people, saying they know best.
  It is not government that runs things here in America. It is we the 
people. We stand with the people in opposing this overreach by the 
Biden administration.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President and to direct their 
remarks to the Chair.

                          ____________________