In a recent Congressional hearing, Douglas L. Parker, the Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was grilled by Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) and Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) about the agency’s contentious vaccine mandate, which would have impacted 84 million Americans had it not been struck down by the Supreme Court.
Rep. Miller initiated the inquiry by referencing OSHA’s emergency temporary standard released in November 2021, which aimed to enforce COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing for businesses with 100 or more employees.
During the hearing, Parker defended OSHA’s position, emphasizing that the Supreme Court’s ruling had effectively nullified the mandate.
However, Rep. Miller challenged Parker, asserting that OSHA had overstepped its authority and attempted to force a vaccine mandate on millions of Americans. She also criticized the agency for allegedly pressuring companies to implement such policies despite the Court’s decision.
In response, Parker vehemently denied the accusations, stating, “We didn’t threaten anyone, and we didn’t demand that anyone be fired.”
The contentious hearing also saw Rep. Kevin Kiley questioning Parker about the consequences for non-compliance with the rule. Parker’s response was vague, indicating that it was left to the discretion of employers.
Kiley further criticized the administration for what he saw as attempts to revise the narrative surrounding the mandate.
As the hearing concluded, Rep. Mary Miller announced her intention to introduce amendments aimed at curtailing OSHA’s authority and funding, asserting that the agency had exceeded its original mandate.
The exchange shed light on the ongoing debate surrounding OSHA’s role in shaping workplace policies related to COVID-19, underscoring the importance of transparency and accountability in such matters.
Watch full hearing below: