Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.
Driving the news: Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.
Get people hooked on drugs, allow gangs to control cities, fire people for being unvaccinated and deny them unemployment benefits, then prosecute anyone who exercises their right to self defense.
Follow me for more recipes for disaster.
— No One 🇺🇸 (@tweettruth2me) November 24, 2021
The big picture: Extending unemployment benefits to the unvaccinated is just the latest in a series of proposals aligning the GOP with people who won’t get a COVID shot.
- Republicans see a prime opportunity to rally their base ahead of the midterms. No matter how successful their individual efforts, the campaign is a powerful messaging weapon.
Details: Nine GOP-controlled states have passed laws requiring exemptions for the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, or banning private companies from requiring vaccination altogether, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.
- Several states have made it as easy as possible for workers to claim exemptions, allowing them to opt-out on philosophical grounds or requiring businesses to accept all requests for religious or medical exemptions without proof.
- Legal uncertainty created by a wide variety of new vaccine exemptions in Florida – including for past COVID-19 infections and “anticipated future pregnancy” – prompted Disney World to suspend its vaccine mandate on Tuesday.
In Congress, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) is leading a formal challenge against the federal vaccine mandate using the Congressional Review Act, the official process for Congress to eliminate an executive branch rule.
- The resolution is “guaranteed a vote on the Senate floor,” according to Braun’s office, which could come as early as December.
- At least 20 bills have been introduced to chip away at Biden’s mandates.
The backdrop: On Sept. 8, President Biden announced a new rule requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to implement vaccine mandates, affecting roughly 80 million private sector workers, as well as millions of federal workers and contractors.
In 1 of the new anti-vaccine mandate laws, fired unvaccinated employees can get unemployment benefits. Unemployment activists wonder will they even be able to collect benefits? They say the special session should have been used to fix the unemployment system. pic.twitter.com/txO4oJChB2
— Andryanna Sheppard (@AndryannaTV) November 22, 2021