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One elected Democrat appears to be breaking ranks with the Biden administration over the COVID-19 “no jab, no job” vaccine mandate.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, who is up for reelection in 2022 in the solid red state, distanced herself from the rule issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration that imposes a one-size-fits-all mandate on any company with 100-or-more employees.
“Yesterday, I reviewed the new vaccine mandate from the Biden Administration. While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don’t believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas,” Gov. Kelly explained in a statement on Friday.
“States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic. It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs. I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis,” she added.
In March, Gov. Kelly described the vaccine itself as “safe, effective, and will protect all of us as we return to normal.”
“The only reason [Kelly] is feigning disapproval now is because realizes that her unconditional loyalty to Biden and national Democrats is an albatross around her neck. It’s too little too late,” commented Republican Governors Association spokeswoman Joanna Rodriguez.
Kelly like won in 2018 only because various members of the Republican establishment supported her over GOP standard-bearer and ex-secretary of the state Kris Kobach, a illegal immigration foe and voting integrity champion who many apparently considered too hardline.
Kobach went to lose the U.S. Senate GOP primary in 2020 to then-U.S. Rep. and medical doctor Roger Marshall, who won the general election.
Sen. Marshall plans to introduce legislation to override the Biden mandate.
"I want the people of Kansas, I want Congress, I want @POTUS to know that we are going to use every tool in our toolbox, every arrow in our quiver to stop Joe Biden's unlawful vaccine mandate." pic.twitter.com/JlAnwW0ckY
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) November 3, 2021
Kelly’s likely GOP opponent Derek Schmidt, the state attorney general, claims that Gov. Kelly is late to the party.
“@DerekSchmidtKS has been fighting Joe Biden’s mandates since the moment they were announced. After two months of silence, @GovLauraKelly has now voiced her concerns some 36 hours after her party suffered defeat in blue state Virginia – words accompanied by no action,” his campaign manager CJ Grover asserted on Twitter.
“Kansans are smart, and can see which candidate is acting on principle defending their livelihood and which is making a desperate political ploy to save her own job.”
Kansans are smart, and can see which candidate is acting on principle defending their livelihood and which is making a desperate political ploy to save her own job. #ksleg
— CJ Grover (@cj_grover) November 5, 2021
The number of state AGs taking the Biden administration to federal court over the mandate is trending toward the double digits, including Schmidt. The U.S. Court of Appeals has temporarily put the rule on hold.
“Nothing in federal law gives OSHA this kind of far-reaching authority. Businesses that do not comply would be subject to steep fines. And to make matters worse, state and federal governments have just announced they will stop paying the cost of testing for businesses, shifting that cost onto businesses themselves,” Schmidt has insisted, according to NBC Topeka affiliate KSNT-TV.
5th Circuit halts Biden vaccine mandate over ‘grave’ constitutional issues, legal war commences https://t.co/UEwI1tMior
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) November 7, 2021
“The net effect of this overreaching federal mandate is to discourage private businesses from employing unvaccinated workers by making it more costly, once again threatening the livelihood of many Kansas workers and businesses and promising more disruptions to supply chains nationwide. As I have said many times, I encourage Kansans to be vaccinated, but that personal health care decision should be made by each individual and not mandated by the federal government,” Schmidt noted.
Kris Kobach is reportedly running for AG Schmidt’s job in 2022.
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