(The Center Square) – New Hampshire's Republican House Speaker Sherman Packard is urging members of the state's all-Democrat congressional delegation to oppose President Joe Biden's new vaccine mandate.
In a letter to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and other members of the delegation, Packard rips Biden's vaccine requirement and called on them to "use the authority of Congress to demand oversight and accountability from an administration that is running on chaos and confusion."
"Granite Staters are angry about having their medical freedom taken away through government intrusion," he wrote. "We need strong and effective leadership."
Packard said Biden's mandate would hurt small businesses in the state and force workers who are opposed to getting vaccinated to leave their jobs, compounding a labor shortage.
"Through this unilateral decision, workers will be forced to choose between self-governance and their jobs adding more casualties to the diminishing labor force and causing more businesses to close," he wrote.
New Hampshire is among the GOP-controlled states that have pledged to fight Biden's mandate, even as many of the state's Democrats have voiced support for the vaccine requirements
Still, members of the state's congressional delegation, including Shaheen, are firmly behind Biden's aggressive push to reach the unvaccinated.
Biden's mandate will require employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly. The new rules will apply to federal workers and contractors who do business with the federal government. Companies face fines of up to $14,000 per violation, Biden administration officials said.
The plan will also require vaccinations for about 17 million health care workers at hospitals and other facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding.
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella has joined other Republicans in threatening to sue Biden over the vaccine mandate.
The state attorneys general argue that Biden’s mandate is not only illegal, but fails to acknowledge that some workers are not at risk for getting infected.
Meanwhile, Packard said last week he was drafting legislation to block state or local governments from enforcing the new rules in the state.
A recent poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that Granite Staters were divided over Biden's vaccine mandate.
Roughly 48% of the respondents said they support the mandate, while 45% said they oppose it, which was within the poll's 3% margin of error.