Biden’s vaccine mandate will crush small businesses

By Representative Kevin Hern for the Washington Examiner

When I first came to Congress in 2018, I knew that I could provide a valuable voice for small businesses at the heart of our government. I campaigned on the notion that small business owners lacked a voice in Washington, D.C., which I knew to be true after 35 years as a small business owner. I never felt represented or understood by my government.

I came to Congress knowing the value I could have for small businesses across the country, which make up 99.7% of all U.S. employers, but when I got here, I was faced with the reality of just how few business owners serve in the halls of Congress and how few legislators have ever created a job.

I knew small businesses were underrepresented, but I was shocked to find they had been totally forgotten. Under the Biden administration, it has become abundantly clear that Washington does not understand small business, nor does it want to.

Small businesses drive our economy — an economy that was the greatest in the world just 18 months ago. Those very businesses have been neglected, even punished, by a government that thinks it knows better.

The D.C. swamp is infested with lobbyists and politicians wildly out of step with the average person. The swamp thrives on regulations and federal mandates while the taxpayers suffer. Federal bureaucracy is a heavy weight on small businesses. Main street America has bent over backward to comply with ever-changing regulations, and many business owners bore the personal expense to comply with COVID-19 restrictions that had little to do with science.

When I talk to business owners across the county, they tell me they have to offer cash rewards just to get people to show up to a job interview. They’re offering major signing bonuses and still can’t compete with what the government is paying people to stay home. They’re at their wits’ end, and millions of small businesses around the country feel exactly the same. They are done complying.

That’s why I’m partnering with small businesses across America via the Job Creators Network to combat the most recent unconstitutional action from the White House. President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is a big-government overreach regardless of the context, but following 18 months of hardship, it’s a monumental affront. It’s a slap in the face to small businesses — keeping employees was already hard enough.

More than a blatant violation of their rights as private businesses and individuals born into liberty, it’s a punishment handed down from a government that does not respect what they do. Small businesses are the ones paying taxes — they are the ones taking the risk, hoping to gain reward, to earn their American dream.

This administration sees itself as better than the real-world problems of its citizens. Biden dismisses the 30-year-high inflation; he turned his back on Americans beaten and tortured by the Taliban; he left citizens along our border to fend for themselves against the cartels. We have been unequivocally shamed on the world stage.

Biden can’t be bothered to help those living with the real consequences of his actions, but he’s more than willing to spend more of their dwindling tax dollars and force oppressive mandates on them.

Vaccination is a personal medical decision, one that I chose to make after consulting with my doctor. There are a great many reasons why a person cannot take the vaccine, but it’s not our business to poke our heads into someone else’s medical decisions. Not even the president of the United States can violate that trust.

Biden is waging war on prosperity, our God-given rights, and the American dream itself. Americans are done staying silent, they are done complying with anti-American restrictions, and they will not stand for one more cruel, unfeeling mandate from the president.

Kevin Hern represents Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.