HELENA — Montana’s two U.S. senators – one Democrat, one Republican – say they’ll be voting for a measure Wednesday to block the Biden administration’s rule requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to have their workers vaccinated against COVID-19.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote later Wednesday to pass a resolution to block the rule, sending it to the House.
Republican Steve Daines, who’s been a vocal supporter of GOP efforts to block COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the federal level, is for the measure. He’s also a co-sponsor of a separate bill to stop the Biden administration’s mandate that federal workers and employees of federal contractors be vaccinated against the disease.
Democrat Jon Tester announced Tuesday evening that he, too, will be voting Wednesday for the measure blocking the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requiring vaccines for employees of larger businesses.
The OSHA rule requires employees of larger companies to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19.
Tester said while he “strongly urges” every eligible Montanan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, he believes the rule requiring larger employers to get their worker vaccinated, or face testing, will harm businesses in Montana.
“Over the past few months, I’ve repeatedly heard concerns from Montana’s small business and community leaders about the negative effect the private-business vaccine mandate will have on their bottom lines and our state’s economy,” Tester said. “That’s why I intend to join a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending Montana jobs and small businesses against these burdensome regulations.”