Twenty-seven Republican governors or attorneys general have vowed to fight the latest executive order issued by President Joe Biden mandating that over 80 million private employees receive COVID vaccinations or undergo weekly testing, or their employer will be fined.
The executive order directs the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require private businesses with more than 100 employees mandate that their workers receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing. Noncompliance would result in fines of $14,000 per violation.
The governors who’ve expressed opposition include those from Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Republican attorneys general from states with Democratic governors who also vowed to fight include Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with whom Biden has sparred over mask mandates and vaccine passports, said Florida would fight back.
“When you have a president like Biden issuing unconstitutional edicts against the American people, we have a responsibility to stand up for the Constitution and to fight back, and we are doing that in the state of Florida,” he said.
“This is a president who has acknowledged in the past he does not have the authority to force this on anybody, and this order would result potentially in millions of Americans losing their jobs.”
Texas, which is already embroiled in several lawsuits with the Biden administration, vowed to sue. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said after hearing Biden’s announcement that “Texas is already working to halt this power grab” and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Texas would be suing the Biden administration “very soon.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said, “OSHA cannot dictate personal health care decisions for Missourians. Missouri is not under an OSHA state plan, and Parson will not allow state employees to be used to enforce this unconstitutional action.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster vowed to fight Biden, saying, “The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats. They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad. Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said, “Governors don’t report to Joe Biden. Governors don’t report to the federal government, the states created the federal government, and Joe Biden has stepped out of his reach,” Ducey said. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita indicated he was working with a group of AGs to file a lawsuit. “My team and I, along with other like-minded attorneys general, are reviewing all legal action on how to stand against these authoritarian actions by the Biden administration,” he said in a statement.
The Republican National Committee also announced it was suing “to protect Americans and their liberties” if the proposed rule change were to go into effect.
In response to Republican pushback, White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond, a former Democratic congressman from Louisiana, told CNN the White House expected the opposition.
He said, “… those governors that stand in the way, I think, it was very clear from the president’s tone today that he will run over them. And it is important. It’s not for political purposes. It’s to save the lives of American people. And so, we won’t let one or two individuals stand in the way. We will always err on the side of protecting the American people.”