COLUMBIA - Missouri political leaders have been reacting on Twitter to President Biden's announcement regarding a new vaccine mandate for federal workers, large employers and health care staff.
According to the White House, the mandate could apply to as many as 100 million Americans. The plan requires employers with more than 100 staffers either require employers to get the vaccine or have employees undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Governor Mike Parson
Parson reacted to the announcement by saying that the "heavy-handed action by the federal government is unwelcome in our state and has potentially dangerous consequences for working families."
Parson said the decision to get vaccinated is a private decision, and that it should remain private.
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.(1/3)— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) September 9, 2021
Senator Josh Hawley
Hawley has been verbal previously about Biden's mandates when it comes to COVID-19, especially masks. Hawley has also been verbal about the Biden Administration using Facebook to screen posts about COVID-19.
So much for this https://t.co/57W1ZtGg98— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 9, 2021
Attorney General Eric Schmitt
Schmitt has sued school districts across the state for imposing mask mandates, one being Columbia Public Schools. Schmitt states Missouri has been a leader in pushing back against Biden and COVID-19 mandates, and says Missourians must fight back.
Missouri has been a national leader in pushing back against the Biden Administration & Covid related mandatesBiden’s historic overreach on vaccine mandates will not stand in MissouriWe’re at a crossroads in America — who we are and what we’re going to be. We must fight back— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) September 9, 2021
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (4th Congressional District)
Hartzler reiterated that a vaccine is a personal decision between a family and their doctor. She claims the White House's demands violate that principal.
Despite the core tenet of America’s foundation being freedom, Biden vowed to diminish this right and force our citizens to either get the vaccine or face the consequences.This approach is draconian and will surely be challenged in the courts.(1/6)https://t.co/BYH9TmmrNm— Rep. Vicky Hartzler (@RepHartzler) September 10, 2021
Missouri Chamber of Commerce
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce said the new vaccine and testing mandate is the "wrong approach for business."
"As always, the Missouri Chamber will stand against attempts to place new government mandates on our employer community," a news release said.
The chamber says the federal government should cooperate with the employer community to encourage vaccination.
"It’s unfortunate that this new federal policy will likely further divide public sentiment around COVID-19 vaccination. The Missouri Chamber believes that vaccination remains key to our economic recovery. We need to more Missourians to get vaccinated so that we can begin to put this pandemic behind us. The Missouri Chamber will continue leading in this effort and we strongly encourage all Missourians to get vaccinated against COVID-19," a release said.
House Speaker Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold), House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann (R-O’Fallon) and House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher (R-St. Louis)
"We have asked our House Judiciary Committee to hold a public hearing next Wednesday to take public testimony on this issue and to examine policy solutions that will allow us to protect Missourians from this executive order that was issued without regard for our constitutional rights. The Missouri Legislature will always defend Missourians’ unalienable rights and stand strong against federal government overreach and abuse of power.”
State Sen. Caleb Rowden
Rowden called the Biden admin's move one of the "most egregious overreach attempts from a President he has ever witnessed."
This is one of the most egregious overreach attempts from a President I have ever witnessed.1 —> Much of this nonsense will get laughed out of court presumably.2 —> #MOLeg should take action to protect MO’ians and MO businesses ASAP! #MOLeghttps://t.co/83E353YwFl— Caleb Rowden (@calebrowden) September 9, 2021
Rep. Sara Walsh (District 50)
Rep. Sara Walsh is pushing for Gov. Parson to call a special session for the new mandate.
"Business owners must never be forced to make their employees choose between their Constitutionally protected freedoms and their livelihood," Walsh said in a tweet.
Joe Biden is trampling our Constitutional rights & destroying the #AmericanDream. Business owners must never be forced to make their employees choose between their Constitutionally protected freedoms and their livelihood…. https://t.co/dGf3eYQ4nB pic.twitter.com/AxL5BFj8Du— Sara Walsh (@SaraForMissouri) September 10, 2021
Rep. Nick Schroer (District 107)
Schroer says he started a petition to call back lawmakers for a special session.
This evening I've started collecting signatures on a Petition to call the MO legislature back into special session to deal with the intrusive, illegal, and altogether unconstitutional executive orders Joe Biden issued today #moleg pic.twitter.com/Db71Bkj4nQ— Nick Schroer (@NickBSchroer) September 10, 2021
"We cannot wait until January to address these unlawful and intrusive actions. If we fail to stand against this tyranny, we risk losing liberty forever," Schroer said in a tweet.
I call on @GovParsonMO to immediately call a special session to address this unconstitutional governmental overreach. We cannot wait until January to address these unlawful and intrusive actions. If we fail to stand against this tyranny, we risk losing liberty forever https://t.co/0DBoTFOCnI— Nick Schroer (@NickBSchroer) September 9, 2021
Rep. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (5th Congressional District)
Cleaver said he applauded Biden's decision on the mandate.
This is what national leadership looks like. I applaud this decision from @POTUS and encourage every American to get vaccinated. Find a free, safe, and effective vaccine near you here:https://t.co/u3eUle8Ix8 https://t.co/l0hoU4IEkG— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) September 10, 2021
Rep. Sam Graves (6th Congressional District)
Graves believes Biden is overreaching with the new mandate. He also believes the announcement was used as a distraction from his actions with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
I strongly oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses and their employees. This is just the latest example of the extreme executive overreach by this Administration.— Rep. Sam Graves (@RepSamGraves) September 9, 2021
This story will continue to be updated as lawmakers share their reactions.