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The Fairness for Federal Contractors Act of 2021 would ban executive agencies from requiring federal contractors’ employees to get vaccinated and require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report the ways in which a federal contractor mandate has created job losses and disrupted worker performance and the national supply chain within 180 days of the legislation’s passage.
“American workers should not be forced to get the jab to keep their job. President Biden’s authoritarian mandate on employees of federal contractors requiring vaccination or termination is unfair to those who support the federal government and jeopardizes services such as defense and border security,” Comer, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told Fox News in a statement.
Rep. James Comer speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. (Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)
“Because of the sweeping mandate, employees risk losing their entire livelihoods – jobs, pensions and health care plans – and President Biden places our country at risk to public safety, health and supply chain crises,” he said.
All House Oversight Republicans have signed the bill.
Biden issued an executive order on Sept. 9 requiring federal contractors to ensure their employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine without the option of getting a weekly COVID-19 test.
The president said in his Sept. 9 order that the mandate would “decrease the spread of COVID-19, which will decrease worker absence, reduce labor costs, and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors at sites where they are performing work for the Federal Government.”
President Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot on the White House campus, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“Accordingly, ensuring that Federal contractors and subcontractors are adequately protected from COVID-19 will bolster economy and efficiency in Federal procurement,” the executive order states.
Republicans have also spoken out against Biden’s push to get the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a rule requiring businesses with 100 employees or more to implement a vaccine mandate.
OSHA on Nov. 4 announced the new vaccine rule requiring certain U.S. employers to ensure all their workers are either fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or subject to weekly testing and mask-wearing, prompting a slew of lawsuits from Republican state attorneys general and governors.
A federal court in Texas ruled in favor of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit on Nov. 6. The court issued a temporary stay on the controversial rule in a win for the red state.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. (Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
On Nov. 12, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered OSHA to “take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order.” The decision was the latest development in what is expected to be a lengthy legal battle over the mandate’s legality.
Comer’s office told Fox News that due to the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to suspend businesses with more than 100 employees from requiring vaccinations, federal contractors will now be subject to a mandate that ordinary businesses are at least temporarily exempt from implementing.
Comer and other Oversight Republican lawmakers also recently sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Services Administration Secretary Robin Carnahan and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young asking for information and documents related to the president’s federal contractor vaccine mandate.
Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa., on Nov. 18 introduced legislation to nullify the OSHA vaccine rule.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.