The Republican National Committee plans to sue the federal government over President Joe Biden’s newly announced vaccine mandates for federal employees and millions of private-sector workers.
“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Thursday evening.
“Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate,” McDaniel said. “Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”
Biden announced strict vaccine mandates on Thursday that will affect at least 100 million workers. The Democratic president said he will direct the Labor Department to implement a rule requiring businesses with at least 100 employees, and those with healthcare workers, to require either a COVID-19 vaccination or weekly regular testing among their employees. Those who do not comply could receive fines of up to $14,000 for each violation.
In addition, an executive order signed by Biden on Thursday required all federal employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine without an alternative of completing regular testing, with limited exemptions for those with medical or religious reasons.
The White House said the plans “will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage.”
The move runs counter to Biden’s previous stance.
In December 2020, before Biden took office, he told reporters: “I don’t think it should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory. But I would do everything in my power — just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide — I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing and when they do it demonstrate that it matters.”
In March, White House press secretary Jen Psakisaid “there will be no centralized universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”