U.S. Sen. Mike Braun

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana

(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, is leading the effort to invalidate the expected OSHA regulation mandating employees of companies with 100 employees or more get the COVID-19 vaccine.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill, Braun said the rule would affect 93,000 small businesses in America and “tens of millions of employees” and said the mandate would be the “biggest wallop that small businesses have taken” since the pandemic began.

A total of 41 Republican senators have signed on to Braun’s resolution to use the Congressional Review Act to invalidate the OSHA rule.

“This is government gone wild, and I don’t know when they start pulling it back,” Braun said later in the day on Fox News, talking of the Biden mandate

“It’s the only formal thing we can do,” Braun said of the challenge under the Congressional Review Act.

Of the remaining nine Republican senators, Braun told Fox News host Harris Faulkner they are waiting to see the text of the OSHA regulation.

The Congressional Review Act, passed under the leadership of House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1996 as part of the Contract with America, allows Congress to overrule and invalidate a federal regulation.

The act was used successfully for the first time in 2001 to invalidate OSHA’s ergonomics regulation. Congress swiftly passed the resolution in March of that year and President George W. Bush signed it. The act was not used again successfully until 2017, when the Republican-controlled Congress began using it to invalidate several federal regulations that had been issued under President Barack Obama.

 A resolution under the Congressional Review Act requires only a simple majority – 51 of 100 senators -- to pass.

In the press conference at the U.S. Capitol, where he was flanked by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, Braun said taking the lead in authoring the resolution to invalidate OSHA’s expected regulation was “a fairly easy thing to do” for him, given his leadership for 37 years of his company, Meyer Distributing, now run by his sons, and his understanding of the stress the Biden administration’s announced mandate has caused for businesses in Indiana.

He referenced the CARES Act, passed last year, saying Congress spent a lot of money to keep employees in their jobs, classifying small businesses as those with 500 or fewer employees for the purpose of eligibility to receive CARES Act funding.

“And now, the way this place works, we’ve lowered that threshold to 100,” he said. “And the number of people, when I was home on break, waiting for this shoe to drop -- and we should see the formal rule any day, and I’d be surprised if we don’t see it today or tomorrow unless they start to backpedal based upon a lot of other stuff that’s occurring.”