Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, has been vocally opposed to federal efforts to require COVID-19 vaccinations. President Joe Biden signed an executive order in September mandating federal contractors receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and a deadline of Dec. 8 was later imposed.
On Wednesday, Schmitt said he would file a lawsuit to prevent federal contractors or contracted employees from being required to be vaccinated. He decried “power-hungry bureaucrats” and noted his office has often challenged the federal government since Biden entered the White House.
“The Biden administration is seeking to use the full weight of the federal government to force federal contractors to mandate vaccinations. This is blatant, frightening federal overreach,” Schmitt said. “My office will file a lawsuit to halt this mandate on federal contractors by the end of the week, and stand ready, willing, and able to file suit against the employer vaccine mandate when OSHA publishes their forthcoming rule.”
🚨 Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates are unconstitutional & some of the most frightening power grabs in the history of our country. They must be stopped.
That is why I am filing a lawsuit to halt the vaccine mandate on federal contractors by the end of this week. #NoVaccineMandates
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) October 27, 2021
Schmitt has challenged the Biden administration as Missouri’s attorney general on a myriad of issues, from family-planning clinic funding to immigration.
Biden has also called for businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19 or endure weekly testing.
When the president first announced his vaccination plans, Gov. Mike Parson pushed back, saying it was “potentially dangerous” for working families. Parson, too, has vowed a legal challenge to the federal government’s mandate.
“The Biden administration’s recent announcement seeking to dictate personal freedom and private business decisions is an insult to our American principles of individual liberty and free enterprise,” Parson said in September. “This heavy-handed action by the federal government is unwelcome in our state and has potentially dangerous consequences for working families.”
Representatives from Missouri’s business and health care communities warned lawmakers during a recent House hearing of potential ramifications from a sweeping vaccine mandate.
“The entire health care industry right now, the health care system right now, is burned out,” Nikki Strong, executive director of the Missouri Health Care Association, said at the time. “To put additional strain and pressure on our workers who — for whatever reason, whatever belief they have, whether it’s taking the vaccine, taking a test daily, or whatever that mandate may be — is going to continue to decimate our workforce.”
Meanwhile, business groups have implored the White House to move the deadline as concerns over shipping delays and worker shortages have already put a strain on the upcoming holiday season.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn was the editor in chief of The Missouri Times from 2020-2022. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.