By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl on Friday praised the Alabama Legislature for passing two bills against federal vaccine mandates. The bills were considered and passed during the legislature's second special session.

Senate Bill 9 sets definitions and standards for religious and health vaccine exemptions under Alabama law.

Senate Bill 15 expands on the vaccine passport ban (SB 267) passed by the legislature during the 2021 regular session.

“I want to thank every member of the State Legislature for stepping up to protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” Wahl said in a statement. “No legislative session is perfect, but these bills took a step forward in the fight against the Biden Administration’s out-of-control federal mandates.

“The people of Alabama overwhelmingly oppose vaccine mandates and deserve to be protected from this unconstitutional federal overreach. The Republican Party firmly believes that every individual should have the right to make their own medical decisions and that law-abiding citizens should never be forced into taking an injection against their will.”

Tens of thousands of Alabama workers still face impending termination if they do not get the COVID-19 vaccine, including employees of the University of Alabama, UAB, UAH, and Auburn University, who qualify under the broad definition of "federal contractors."

President Joe Biden (D) in December said that no American would be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which has only been commercially available now for 11 months. In September, Biden reversed himself and issued executive orders requiring that every soldier, federal worker, and employee of a federal contractor be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine. He also ordered every employee of a healthcare provider who receives Medicare or Medicaid dollars be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the President’s orders, has issued a new rule requiring that all employers with 100 or more employees require that their employers get the vaccine. That OSHA order has been stayed for a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order.

Wahl was elected Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party by the Alabama Republican Executive Committee earlier this year.