WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and several of their Republican colleagues to introduce the Keeping Our Covid-19 Heroes Employed Act to save essential workers from being fired due to President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate. In August 2021, the U.S. economy had a shocking 10.4 million open jobs. As shortages hit stores and communities struggle to recover, the Biden administration announced a sweeping plan that would force countless Americans to be fired. This legislation will ensure our economy remains open by protecting our essential workforce from being fired.
Joining Johnson and Blackburn in introducing the legislation were senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
“Well before President Biden’s ill-advised and divisive vaccine mandate, I had been hearing from doctors, nurses, first responders, and others facing the life-altering decision of having to choose between losing their job or being coerced into taking a vaccine. We are already suffering severe worker shortages throughout our economy, especially in health care. Vaccine mandates will increase these shortages and degrade our health care system. I support any effort, and am happy to co-sponsor Sen. Blackburn’s Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act, to mitigate the very real harms these mandates are causing and will continue to cause. No one should be pressured, coerced, or fear reprisal for refusing treatment, especially essential workers,” said Senator Johnson.
“Our essential workers are true heroes,” said Senator Blackburn. “For over 18 months, essential workers showed up to serve and protect their communities. Businesses across the country are desperate for workers and we are in the midst of a supply chain crisis. There are more than 10.4 million open jobs across the country, and now President Biden wants to fire even more workers. Getting vaccinated is a choice that should be made between a patient and their doctor. No one should be forced by Joe Biden to be fired or get jabbed.”
“Essential workers have honorably served in hospitals, public safety, schools and more throughout the pandemic, but now their livelihoods are threatened because of their vaccination status,” Senator Inhofe said. “I am proud to cosponsor the Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act so that hardworking men and women can continue serving in Oklahoma and around the nation without the fear of being fired because of the Biden administration’s heavy-handed, out-of-touch national mandate. The decision to get the vaccine should be made individually – not mandated by the federal government.”
“From the earliest days of the pandemic, our frontline workers and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to keep food on our tables and care for the sick in our communities. We should be celebrating their heroism, not punishing them for exercising their individual health freedoms. I’m proud to join Senator Blackburn in defending their rights and fighting the Biden administration’s mandate,” said Senator Lummis.
“The COVID-19 vaccine mandate being forced upon America’s workers is yet another example of the Biden Administration’s government overreach,” said Senator Hagerty. “We should be protecting our frontline essential workers who served courageously—despite the hardships and health risks—during the COVID-19 pandemic, not issuing unlawful federal mandates that threaten their jobs.”
“Getting vaccinated is a personal choice that should not be made by the federal government, and no one’s job should be dependent upon a vaccine mandate - especially those essential workers who kept our country going during the worst of the pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns,” said Senator Braun.
“When the pandemic ground our country to a halt, our essential workers stayed on the job protecting our communities, transporting goods, stocking shelves, and saving lives. Threatening their job is no way to thank them. Our essential workers, like all Americans, should be free to make the health decision that works for them without the risk of losing employment,” said Senator Tuberville.