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1) Federal Court Blocks OSHA Mandate
The Topline: On Saturday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay, blocking the Biden’s administration’s mandate from OSHA that forces all private employers with 100 or more workers to require them to be vaccinated for COVID or be tested weekly.
Quote Of The Day: “But what is a little surprising is how quickly the fifth circuit moved here. The mandate doesn’t go into effect for about two months, but the court stayed it in a matter of two days, that probably doesn’t bode well for this.”
– The Daily Wire’s general counsel Josh Herr
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate has been in the works since President Joe Biden’s announcement two months ago. On Thursday, that rule was finally issued — and it was even more punitive than initially expected. If a company fails to enforce the vaccine mandate, the government will fine them $13,000 per occurrence. If OSHA labels a company to be an “egregious” or a repeat violator, it can fine the company $136,000 for every occurrence.
Remember: This would be for every employee every time they’re found to be in violation.
On Saturday, a panel of judges in the fifth circuit granted a temporary stay of the rule. The case was filed by the state of Mississippi and a number of private businesses. The court ruled there are potentially “grave, statutory, and constitutional issues with the mandate.” The government has until 5:00 p.m. Monday to respond.
The case in the fifth circuit focuses on constitutional and statutory arguments, namely that the enforcement of the mandate would be unconstitutional, and that it goes beyond the power Congress delegated to OSHA.
This happened after several entities — including The Daily Wire and several religious groups — filed lawsuits last week. The attorneys general in those states celebrated this as a major win against what they called “unconstitutional overreach.”
Biden Administration Responds
The Chief Legal Officer for the Department of Labor, Seema Nanda, said OSHA has the authority to issue this kind of sweeping mandate. She cited the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which she says, “explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them.”
When both sides have filed legal briefs, the court will then decide whether or not the rule will be allowed to go forward or if a permanent injunction will be put in place.
2) Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Bill Passes
The Topline: After months of intense debate, late Friday the House voted to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The bill, which includes funding for bridges, hospitals, and airports, as well as billions more for controversial climate change measures, will now head to President Biden’s desk for final passage.
Quote Of The Day: “The House of Representatives passed an infrastructure and investment in jobs act. That’s a fancy way of saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill. A once in a generation investment that’s gonna create millions of jobs …”
– President Joe Biden
Progressive Democrats had said they’d only vote yes on the bill if they got what they wanted in the larger social spending bill — legislation that includes trillions of dollars in funding for Democratic agenda items.
As of Friday, a deal still hadn’t been reached on the social spending bill, as far-left progressives were essentially refusing to lower the price tag. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pushed forward anyway, reportedly saying behind closed doors that members were not to “embarrass” President Biden with a no vote. She announced they’d be holding a vote on infrastructure Friday, angering the progressive base, but not to the point where they’d vote against the bill. It passed 228 to 206.
The bill was described as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but once it was connected to the far-left social spending bill, most Republicans refused to support it.
Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) warned members against voting yes, saying it was essentially a vote for President Biden’s radical agenda. Only 13 Republicans voted yes.
Only six Democratic members voted no, led by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
The bill includes $550 billion for mass transit, airports, roads, and bridges, $65 billion for expanding broadband coverage, and billions more for the electric grid and water systems.
It also includes $21 billion for “environmental remediation”, $47 billion for global warming measures being called “climate resiliency,” and another $15 billion for low emission buses and electric vehicle charging stations. Republicans say those items aren’t infrastructure and should be in a separate bill.
3) Explaining Last Week’s Red Wave
The Topline: Last week’s election saw Republicans win a series of races across the country, not only in Virginia, but in New Jersey, New York, and other blue states.
Quote Of The Day: “They are telling the Democratic Party in no uncertain terms, stop giving us what you’re giving us. We don’t want it.”
– Henry Olsen, Senior fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center
Not Just Virginia
Almost everywhere with a partisan race on the ballot, there were Republican victories and very large Republican gains compared to the Biden margin in similar areas. Senior fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center Henry Olsen said if what we’re seeing is replicated on election day in 2022, Republicans would gain between 40 and 60 U.S. House seats.
In the New Jersey Gubernatorial election, votes are still coming in, but Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy currently holds a 2.6% lead.
Remember: Biden won New Jersey by 16 points.
Other Stories We’re Tracking
Travis Scott Concert
On Friday, at least 8 people died at artist Travis Scott’s music festival, “Astroworld,” when the crowd reportedly surged toward the stage, causing those in the front to be crushed. At least 25 people were transported to the hospital. The 8 casualties included persons ranging in age from 14 to 27. Among the injured are at least 5 persons under 18.
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