Some in Missouri GOP float state gun law as template to fight Biden vaccine rule

Missouri Republicans are clamoring to thwart President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, with legislators weighing proposals that echo the new state law prohibiting local enforcement of federal gun laws. The president’s announcement last week that the federal government will require most workplaces with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or submit to regular testing has come under widespread condemnation from GOP legislators, who have vowed to take action against the plan. But Gov. Mike Parson has so far not called a special session — limiting what lawmakers could do as they gathered in Jefferson City on Wednesday for the General Assembly’s annual veto session. Instead, top Republican leaders suggested action may come this fall and other conservatives floated the idea of somehow banning enforcement of the Biden plan. A state law blocking federal officials from enforcing vaccination rules would set the stage for an extraordinary confrontation between Missouri and the federal government. The rule was announced by Biden as the latest effort nationally to boost flagging vaccination rates as the more dangerous delta variant has swept through low-vaccination states. Missouri’s vaccination rate sits at 46.5%. Biden has already made clear he expects lawsuits against the rule, telling opponents last week to “have at it.” At a House hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman suggested the General Assembly could “enact a ban, say we’re not going to comply with this federal mandate.” Coleman, an Arnold Republican, is running for state Senate. Others have conceded that […]

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