Virus Outbreak Congress

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021.

(The Center Square) – The Supreme Court decided Thursday in a 6-3 vote to block the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate on private sector businesses.

The Supreme Court opinion said Congress and the states, not the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have the authority to implement such a mandate.

Under the OSHA private sector mandate, businesses with at least 100 employees would have been obligated to check vaccine status of all workers and require weekly COVID-19 tests of any unvaccinated staff, or face fines. The mandate applied to 84 million workers.

“The SCOTUS ruling on OSHA vaccine mandate is a major victory for Iowans, their personal freedoms and liberties,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release, responding to the decision. “The Biden Administration should hear this message loud and clear: The American citizens do not believe in government overreach, and they don’t believe in the federal government making health care decisions for them.”

Iowa Business Council Executive Director Joe Murphy told The Center Square in an emailed statement Thursday that Iowa businesses’ need for certainty has been one of the biggest issues they have faced since the spring of 2020.

“The potential for contradictory mandates between federal and state governing authorities injected significant uncertainty into complicated business operations,” he said. “With the Supreme Court’s ruling today, we now have the clarity needed to move forward.”

Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa President and CEO Greg Spenner praised the decision in a statement.

“The construction industry, like many businesses in this country, is facing a significant workforce shortage, supply chain issues and rising materials prices and today’s Supreme Court ruling removes a huge compliance hurdle for our industry,” Spenner said.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, IA-02, said in a news release that the decision is a “win” for businesses and workers nationwide.

“Main Street is already facing the real-world effects of a labor shortage, a mismanaged supply chain, and inflation rates that we have not seen in decade,” she said. “Every American should be able to decide if a vaccine is right for them, just like I did. Let’s work to keep businesses open and Americans employed, not shuttered, jobless, and hopeless.”

Miller-Meeks co-sponsored bills to block the mandate’s implementation, such as the Stop Vaccine Mandates Act, the No Vaccine Mandate Act, and a Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify the vaccine mandate.

Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts announced Jan. 7 that the Hawkeye State would not adopt or enforce the mandate if the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in its favor.