State Rep. Pat Outman, of Six Lakes, today said he is fighting against President Joe Biden’s decision to force workers in several business sectors to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those who work at companies with 100 or more employees in Michigan will need to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022, or choose to get tested for the virus weekly, under the administration’s order.
“I strongly believe that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal, medical decision for people and families to make at their discretion,” Outman said. “The potential vaccine mandate would negatively impact Michigan workers, local job providers and even our basic personal freedoms. I plan to fight the president’s misguided actions at every step. Bullying people into this by threatening to lay them off is not the right approach.”
Outman said the Legislature will join a federal lawsuit with state attorney generals across the country. The group will urge federal courts to block Biden’s mandate, arguing that it violates federal law and constitutes a massive overreach of federal power.
President Biden’s plan now sits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Louisiana. The court halted the vaccine requirements on Saturday. The Biden administration asked the court to lift the pause, and said businesses should move forward with the plan. Republican attorney generals in at least 25 states have challenged Biden’s plan in five different U.S. appeals courts, while the Republican National Committee also challenged the requirements in the D.C. Court of Appeals. It’s unclear at this time which court will ultimately decide the case.
Outman also said he expects the House Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to hold hearings on the issue as the Biden mandate relates to rule-making which should go through the formal legislative review process.
“It’s important that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer adheres to the legislative process this time around,” Outman said. “A vaccine requirement for private businesses is unprecedented, and there are serious legal questions about whether government has the authority to execute these measures. I fully support these important legal efforts to protect our individual rights and freedoms, and I will be staying on top of this issue for people across Montcalm County going forward.”
The House and Senate oversight committees met yesterday to investigate the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency and a recent report that estimated $8.5 billion in distributed fraudulent claims.