Rep. Biggs: Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Triggering ‘Tremendous Pushback’

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 21, 2021 Updated: October 25, 2021

President Joe Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates are unconstitutional and the mandates and other actions by his administration are triggering strong challenges, legal and otherwise, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said.

Biden last month imposed a vaccine mandate on federal workers and contractors, with limited exceptions, and his administration plans to force private businesses to compel vaccination or require weekly COVID-19 testing.

Many Republicans oppose the mandates, including Biggs, who noted on NTD’s “Capitol Report” this week that a flurry of lawsuits have been filed challenging them or are being prepared when the private business rule is ultimately released to the public. He also highlighted how some businesses appear to be impacted by workers defying the mandate, including Southwest Airlines.

The administration “is so rogue and tyrannical. They’re big government socialists, they’re fascists, they want to use this,” Biggs said.

“But what we’re seeing is tremendous pushback around the country. And it isn’t necessarily over the vaccine as much as it is over the mandate,” he added.

Biden announced the private business vaccination requirement in early September but his administration did not submit the rule for review until last week.

The president “just basically willy nilly says something in a press conference—doesn’t issue any document, actually, to this point that supports it,” Biggs said, adding: “So I think you’re going to continue to see a fight in the American public, you’re going to see a fight in Congress. And I think you’re going continue to see the states fight as well, certain states, and they should, because this is an unconstitutional mandate.”

The White House has said it has the authority to compel private business vaccination through the 1970 OSHA Act. That law lets the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issue a type of rule called an Emergency Temporary Standard, in cases where the agency finds “that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.”

The administration has said federal laws override state ones after some states banned vaccine passports, or banned requiring proof of vaccination.

Biden, meanwhile, has welcomed legal challenges.

Asked about the filed and pending challenges during an appearance earlier this month, he said: “Have at it. We’re playing for real here. This isn’t a game.”

Correction: The term for what type of rule OSHA can issue has been corrected. The Epoch Times regrets the error.