AUSTIN, Texas - With the governor of Texas leading the charge, conservative Republicans in several states are moving to block or undercut President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private employers before the regulations are even issued.
The growing battle over what some see as an overreach by the federal government is firing up a segment of the Republican Party base, even though many large employers have already decided on their own to require their workers to get the shot.
The dustup will almost certainly end up in court since GOP attorneys general in nearly half of the states have vowed to sue once the rule is unveiled.
On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order barring private companies or any other entity from requiring vaccines. It was perhaps the most direct challenge yet to Biden’s announcement a month ago that workers at private companies with more than 100 employees would have to get either vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus.
"No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual ... who objects to such vaccination," Abbott wrote in his order.
Jamarr Brown, the co-executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, and James Dickey, the former Texas GOP chairman, share their thoughts on Abbott's new order blocking vaccine mandates.
The Associated Press contributed to this article