Texas’ Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its federal mandate for companies with over 100 employees to vaccinate their workers against the coronavirus.
Paxton spoke with Fox News Digital after filing the lawsuit on Friday and said that the federal government is “overreaching” and going beyond what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration “has the authority to do.”
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OSHA is giving employers with more than 100 employees a Jan. 4 deadline to comply with President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and threatening thousands of dollars in fines for defiant businesses, according to a fact sheet released by the White House Thursday.
“Biden’s new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of power,” Paxton tweeted Friday. “OSHA has only limited power & specific responsibilities. This latest move goes way outside those bounds. This ‘standard’ is flatly unconstitutional. I’m asking the Court to strike it down”
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Paxton explained to Fox News Digital that the mandate is “horrible for the American people and horrible for American business” while also dinging the Biden administration on its lack of concern over the spread of the coronavirus at the southern border.
“It’s a little ironic that the Biden administration is letting illegal immigrants into this country without testing them for COVID,” Paxton added. “Doesn’t even bother to vaccinate them or test them. I think that’s because they don’t want to know if they have COVID even know they know a lot of them do.”
“And yet, they’re willing to punish Americans in a very harsh and horrible way by taking their jobs from them but if you come here illegally the federal government says we aren’t going to follow federal law to protect American citizens we’re going to let you come into the country and spread COVID as much as you want.”
Paxton said that he hasn’t heard anything back from the Biden administration regarding the filing and said that “typically the Biden administration doesn’t communicate with us.”
“We’ve tried in the past,” Paxton said. “We send them a letter and they don’t respond. The Biden administration, I don’t think they view themselves as needing to follow federal law or listen to any advice from states or anybody else.”
Paxton told Fox News Digital that he has been in touch with Republican attorneys general and governors across the country and they are almost all in agreement with Texas’ position and he expects more legal challenges to the mandate.
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White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to a question at a Friday press briefing about whether or not she is confident the mandate will stand up to legal challenges.
“We are very confident that it can,” Jean-Pierre said. “As for the legal side of this, let me be crystal clear to avoid what appears to be possible misinformation or disinformation around the emergency temporary standard being a vaccine mandate. That would be on its face incorrect as has been explicit for months. It is a standard for safe workplace to either comply with weekly testing or to be vaccinated.”
Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report