Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed his legislation to halt President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Senator Marshall delivered remarks on the Senate floor prior to the vote. You may click HERE or on the image below to view the Senator’s speech.
“Make no mistake, this federal vaccine mandate is not about public health or science – it’s about Joe Biden fulfilling his desire to control every aspect of our lives, and it’s a slap in the face to the hard-working men and women who never took a day off on the frontline fight against COVID-19,” said Senator Marshall. “Today is a huge victory for all the healthcare workers who ran to the sound of the COVID battle as Senate Republicans joined forces taking us one step closer to invalidating President Biden’s overreaching and harmful CMS vaccine mandate. These workers are the true heroes of the pandemic and deserve our best fight and utmost respect.”
You may click HERE to view Senator Marshall’s remarks as prepared.
Senator Marshall’s resolution stops the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for virtually all healthcare employees and prevents any similar rule from being proposed in the future. The resolution now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives. Companion legislation was introduced by Representatives Jeff Duncan (SC) and has the support from over 168 members.
President Biden’s mandate would exacerbate staffing shortages and impose burdensome costs at health care facilities. According to CMS, the unfunded mandate will cost over $158 million to health care facilities to implement. For nursing homes and rural health providers, which already face staff shortages, losing even one percent of staff is catastrophic in their field. These providers would be forced to limit available services or close their doors for not meeting minimum staffing requirements. The rule also does not take into account infection-acquired immunity or the fact that vaccines do not prevent the transmission of the now dominant Omicron variant.
The CMS vaccine mandate was previously prohibited from taking effect by two federal courts in Louisiana and Missouri. While the Supreme Court ruled in January that the CMS has the statutory authority to impose conditions upon health care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid, it harms access to care for rural and underserved communities. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and nine other Attorneys General have asked a separate federal court to reopen litigation to lift the stay on further district proceedings.
The Congressional Review Act is a legal tool whereby Congress can overturn rules issued by federal agencies, once it has been properly noticed. “Proper notice” occurs once a regulation is printed in the Federal Register and received by the Clerks of the House and Senate. The CMS vaccine mandate regulation was printed in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021. With more than 36 original cosponsors, the resolution received privilege in the Senate and allowed the body to vote on it.