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GOP governors rip Biden over new mandate, threaten legal action

Republican governors and other lawmakers blasted President Biden Thursday after he announced a nationwide vaccinate-or-test requirement for businesses with at least 100 employees — an edict that could affect two-thirds of American workers.

September 10, 2021

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In remarks from the White House, the president said that the Labor Department will force those businesses to require staffers to get inoculated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the disease. Businesses that don’t follow the new rule will be subject to hefty fines.

“This is not about freedom, or personal choice,” Biden said at one point. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you — the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love … We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part, who want to get back to life as normal.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem fired the first rhetorical shot on Twitter, writing before Biden spoke that: “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.”

“This is not a power that is delegated to the federal government,” Noem told Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night. “This is a power for states to decide. In South Dakota, we’re going to be free and we’re going to make sure that we don’t overstep our authority. So we will take action. My legal team is already working, and we will defend and protect our people from this unlawful mandate.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also chimed in on social media, writing that “I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.”

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey issued a statement decrying what he called Biden’s “dictatorial approach” as “wrong” and “un-American.”

“COVID-19 is a contagious disease, it is still with us and it will be for the foreseeable future,” Ducey wrote. “President Biden’s solution is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way … How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined?”

“These mandates are outrageous,” Ducey concluded. “They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted late Thursday that the requirement announced by Biden “completely ignores the science and is an attack on Americans’ right to privacy.

“The feds have NO AUTHORITY to force employers make their employees get vaccinated,” Cruz insisted.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the new rule “an assault on private businesses” and vowed that the state was “already working to halt this power grab.”

Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, tweeted that Biden’s “not about freedom” remark was possibly “the most disturbing thing I’ve ever heard a politician say, and I worked in Eastern European politics for years.”

At another point in his speech, Biden warned that if Republican governors who have opposed vaccine and mask mandates “won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my powers as president to get them out of the way.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts called the presid….

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