WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Braun has returned to Washington after the chamber’s summer recess. He has President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate on his mind as well as Democrats’ push to pass a massive spending bill.
Braun is admonishing President Biden for his executive order requiring all federal employees, including private contractors, to get vaccinated for COVID.
“Most people have got their mind made up in terms of what they’re going to do. Unless you’ve got a good reason, you ought to get the vaccine,” Braun said on Fox Business. “On the other hand I don’t know that vaccines are going to quell COVID-19 and all its variants, so I think that calculation is being made.”
Braun said President Biden essentially moved the goalposts on what the federal government defines as a “small business” in order to roll out the mandate. Companies that don’t comply could face fines worth thousands of dollars.
“I think this is another unforced error that they are going to have trouble enforcing, number one,” Braun added. “I think it’s going to go to the courts, number two.”
As for the $3.5 trillion spending plan being pushed by congressional Democrats, Braun said that he is nervous about it knowing that at the moment only two moderate Democrat senators stand in the way of the bill being passed: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“While I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion,” Sinema said in a statement this week.
“I think it’s clear on our side there won’t be a vote for it,” said Braun. “But, (Republicans) are worried about Sinema, especially Manchin. He’s put a lot out there in terms of political capital because he said ‘no way and I doing 3.5 trillion.”
Braun feels Democrats may let that $3.5 trillion in spending slip a little, possibly to $2.5 trillion in order to lull Manchin and Sinema on board with the bill. Either way, he expected Democrats to push hard to get something passed, otherwise, he said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer will be left with “egg on their face.”