Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced this week that he and 20 other state attorneys general have formally called on President Joe Biden to withdraw his administration’s COVID 19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors.

The state attorneys general mailed the letter Wednesday.

“Like other mandates being imposed by the federal government, this mandate stands on shaky legal ground, cannot be reconciled with other messaging provided by the government, and forces contractors unable to make sense of its many inconsistencies to require that their entire workforce be vaccinated on an unworkable timeline or face potential blacklisting by the federal government or loss of future federal contracts,” the state attorneys general wrote.

“We strongly urge you to instruct agencies to cease implementing the mandate or, at a minimum, to provide clarity to agencies and federal contractors across the country and delay the mandate’s compliance date.”

Biden, in September and by executive order, directed federal departments and agencies to include a clause in contracts requiring all contractors and subcontractors to adopt COVID Safety protocols.

Later that month, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance imposing a vaccination mandate more expansive than Biden’s executive order. Slatery said in an emailed press release that that agency’s guidance “is internally inconsistent and is at odds with actions taken elsewhere by the federal government.”

“The Federal Contractor Mandate is simply not workable,” Slatery said.

“It is inconsistent with other federal COVID-19 guidelines, fails to account for industry-specific factors, and imposes unduly broad obligations unrelated to protecting people working on federal contracts.”

Slatery also said in the emailed press release that those contractors have faced a series of conflicting directives.

“Instead of assistance from the administration in making sense of the inconsistencies, contractors have faced short deadlines coupled with the threat of being blacklisted or losing contracts for non-compliance,” according to Slatery’s press release.

In addition to Tennessee, the letter was sent by the attorneys general for Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected].