JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Sen. Marsha Blackburn plans to introduce legislation that would release several categories of workers from federal vaccine mandates.

Blackburn spoke to WJHL while visiting Johnson City to review plans for the West Walnut redevelopment project.

The Tennessee senator said she plans to file a bill on Monday that would exempt any employee classified as an essential worker during the pandemic from federal mandates.

“Health care workers, airline employees, first responders, policeman. People that have worked so many different careers. They showed up. They did their jobs,” Blackburn said. “If they do not want to be masked up and if they want to be free of a vaccine mandate, they should be. They’ve earned it.”

The federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates introduced by President Joe Biden would require all federal employees or those working under federal contract to get vaccinated.

Workers at companies employing over 100 people would also have to be vaccinated or get tested for COVID weekly. Federal workers do not have the testing option.

Blackburn said she is also pushing for legislation that would require social media companies to ask and receive explicit consent from users before they collect any personal data.