A segment of the Republican Party base is energized by the growing fight over federal government overreach. However, many large employers have made it clear that they will require workers to have the shot.
Since nearly half of the states' GOP attorneys general have pledged to sue after the rule is revealed, the dustup could end in court.
Although the courts have always upheld vaccine mandates and the Constitution gives the federal government an upper hand over the states it is unclear what the final outcome will be.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that prohibited private companies or any other entity from requiring vaccines. Greg Abbott issued an executive directive preventing private companies and any other entity from requiring vaccinations. This was the directest challenge to Biden's announcement last month that private companies with over 100 employees would need to be vaccinated.
Abbott stated in his order that "no entity in Texas can force any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccination."
Officials from the White House dismissed Abbott's order and said that the question of whether state law can supersede federal was resolved 160 years ago during Civil War. They stated that the Biden administration would push through the opposition to put the private workplace mandate in effect, along with other mandates it ordered for federal contractors as well as employees of health care facilities that are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. These mandates could have an impact on up to 100 million Americans.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, accused the opposition of putting safety ahead of politics, pointing out the nation's COVID-19 death total of over 700,000.
"It's quite clear that when you make a decision that is against all public data and information, it's not based upon what's in the best interests of the people that you're governing. She said that it might be in your best interests.
Many large Texas companies have already implemented their vaccine mandates. Two Texas-based airlines Southwest and American indicated Tuesday that they would follow the Biden administration's order. Federal action overrides any state law or mandate.
Arkansas lawmakers have approved a measure that exempts vaccine-mandates. Although the GOP governor has not yet indicated whether he will sign it or not, it has raised concerns that businesses may be forced to decide whether to violate federal law or state law.
Randy Zook, president of Arkansas Chamber of Commerce said that "we are tying Arkansas businesses' hands in order to prevent them from making their own decisions about how to keep their employees safe." Walmart and Tyson Foods are two of the largest Arkansas companies. They require employees to be vaccinated.
In states like South Dakota, Kansas, and Wyoming, Republican governors have called for special legislative sessions to combat vaccine mandates. Kristi Noem has so far refused to consider immediately a bill which would allow people to opt out.
Scott Odenbach, a Republican state representative, said that he hears from people nearly daily who fear losing their jobs and are living in fear. Odenbach has clashed on this issue with Noem. They shouldn't be forced to choose between their family's well-being and their medical freedom.
Indiana's Republican Governor. Eric Holcomb also resists a push by his party to ban mandates for workplace vaccination.
Other countries are also receiving bills, such as Ohio and New Hampshire where the Republican sponsor was elected House Speaker after his predecessor's death from COVID-19.
Speaker Shermpackard stated last month that "government mandates are not the way to success in vaccination rates" and added, "We have made it very clear,"
Utah lawmakers are yet to take action on the issue, but over 600 people packed a hearing room last week.
Rob Moore, the CEO of Big-D Construction in Salt Lake City, stated that he supports vaccines, but had questions about mandate rollout. There is a shortage of workers on his job sites. He said that employee surveys have shown that almost 20% of his workers do not want to be inoculated. Therefore, they will need to be tested every week.
"This is weighing on our minds right now. I don't know if that was the federal government's thought process. He said that the cost would be huge.
Other sectors have had no vaccine requirements. The NBA's Jazz in Utah is requiring all employees to get vaccinated. Fans are also required to present proof of vaccinations or have a negative COVID-19 testing. Frank Zang, a Jazz spokesperson, stated that only a few tickets have been refunded so far. The season opener will be sold out by next Wednesday.
He said, "I believe there's an understanding of what's at stake in terms of having safe environments for people to enjoy concerts and sports again."
More than 200 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccines. Serious side effects have been extremely rare. Experts believe that the risk of the vaccine is much lower than the danger presented by COVID-19.
Recent polling has shown that about half of Americans support requiring large-company workers to be vaccinated and tested every week. According to the poll by The Associated Press, 6 out 10 Republicans opposed the mandate for employees.
Montana is the only state to have passed a law prohibiting private employers from prescribing vaccines. It imposes penalties on business owners, including a $500 fine and a sentence in prison. The Montana Medical Association and a law firm are challenging the measure in court. They claim that the rule is a hindrance to businesses' ability to create a safe work environment.
Much will depend on how the nationwide rule is written as judges weigh these cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will draft it as a temporary emergency rule. This agency has wide power to regulate the workplace.
Dorit Rubinstein, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, said that they will need to frame the case in a way that is workplace-related. "I believe the mandate's main benefit will be that it covers companies who already wish to do so."