Last week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–championed the “Protecting Working Families from Federal Overreach Act.”
The bill “would allow states to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds to pay federal fines on behalf of private employers who do not comply with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.” Rubio introduced the bill with Scott and U.S. Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Kevin Cramer, R-ND, as co-sponsors.
“Under the Biden rule, employers must implement the mandate or face significant fines. Employers who are noncompliant could face fines of $13,653 per violation or $136,532 for repeated violations,” Rubio’s office noted.
Rubio and other supporters weighed in in the bill on Thursday.
“The Biden administration’s crusade to force COVID-19 vaccinations upon millions of American workers is a massive overstep,” Rubio said. “I have always encouraged people to get vaccinated, but the federal government should not hold the incomes of working families hostage for COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The administration’s rule is an egregious overreach of federal power, and it will do nothing but further sow division into our country and make the labor shortage crisis even worse. I will continue working with my colleagues to fight back against this egregious mandate by President Biden and his radical far-left administration.”
“President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses is unconstitutional, immoral, and wrong, that’s why all 50 Senate Republicans are challenging it in the Senate and why I’m proud to support this bill that will allow states, territories, and tribal governments to use unspent COVID funds to help private businesses pay the ridiculous $14,000 fines President Biden wants to inflict on them to enforce his illegal mandate,” Braun said.
“I am committed to assisting hardworking Americans and business as we fight Joe Biden’s unconstitutional and overreaching vaccine mandate,” Cramer said. “Our bill allows state and tribal governments to use leftover COVID-19 dollars to aid businesses in paying any of the hefty federal fines that could be imposed by the Biden Administration. This would provide much needed regulatory relief should this rule go into effect.”
“Florida families and businesses are already struggling to put food on the table and keep their employees on payroll thanks to Biden’s inflation crisis,” Scott said. “There’s no reason they should be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines for Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate. Our legislation, the Protecting Working Families from Federal Overreach Act, would allow states to repurpose unspent CARES Act funding so families and businesses aren’t footing the bill for rightfully rejecting Biden’s gross federal overreach. We can’t let Biden’s anti-business agenda and mandates kill our small businesses and strip Americans of their personal rights. We must pass this bill today.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House. The bill will have challenges getting through either chamber which are both controlled by the Democrats.
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