U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh demanding an explanation of the supposed constitutional basis of the Department of Labor’s planned attempt to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate vaccinations for 80 million private-sector workers. Senator Hawley writes that OSHA’s power is “exceedingly limited” in this regard so the Biden administration “decided to take an end-run around public accountability in favor of heavy-handed authoritarianism.”
Senator Hawley writes, “Congress, not the President, has the authority to make law. This is an elementary principle of American governance, but President Biden has flouted it with his unprecedented, arbitrary decision to mandate that certain employers—but not others—require workers to be vaccinated or undergo rigorous testing procedures. This is a bad policy. It is an infringement of every citizen’s fundamental rights. But most of all, it is an unlawful bypassing of established regulatory procedures.”
Among other questions, Senator Hawley requested Secretary Walsh describe what specific legal authority OSHA is relying on, whether there is any precedent for treating a widespread disease under such an order, and whether anyone at OSHA raised concerns about the lawfulness of the proposal.
Read the full letter here.