As a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing small business employees with the tools they need to "become the voice of free enterprise," Job Creators Network never intended to use litigation as a means of advancing its causes. But President Biden's vaccine mandate on private businesses has given them no choice.
In a phone call Tuesday with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz made the organization's intentions clear.
Since Biden announced the mandate in September, JCN has heard from its members about how the rule would harm their small businesses if finalized, causing serious financial harm to their companies, employees, and local communities.
On the call, Ortiz emphasized how the mandate would affect large and small businesses (generally defined as an employer with under 500 employees) differently.
"I tried to highlight past regulatory actions that were applied across the board without any differentiation between small business and large business," Ortiz told Townhall, pointing to Dodd-Frank as an example. "I mentioned the impact [Dodd-Frank] had on large banks versus little banks—large banks actually got larger, and the smaller community banks actually disappeared."
'There's a true differentiation between small and large businesses," Ortiz stated.
Interestingly, he also said he's observed different attitudes toward the mandate from small vs. large businesses, with the latter much less concerned about losing employees than the former.
While Ortiz said it was a productive call, with OIRA asking some good questions, the group also didn't beat around the bush.
"We were definitely clear in our intentions that if this thing moves forward, we will sue," Ortiz said.
And he believes they have a strong case if it comes to that.
"It's a complete overreach of federal power under the Constitution," Ortiz said. "We don't believe [the Biden administration] has the authority to impose this mandate. And even if it did, we do not believe that there is a grave danger or necessity to issue this kind of regulation that impacts literally millions of employees."
He also pointed to the current state of the pandemic. Not only are Covid-19 cases declining nationally, thanks to voluntary vaccination and natural immunity, but therapeutics are also ameliorating the severity of the disease.
With the mandate's future still in question, one thing that's certain is that JCN is in the fight "for the long haul."
"Small businesses cannot afford this mandate, period," he said. "They can't stomach it, they can't incorporate it into their businesses. And so we were very adamant about our pushback and requesting that, at a minimum, they move that number up to over 500 to give reprieve to our small businesses across the country.
"We believe that this mandate presents a true clear and present danger to our small businesses across the country," Ortiz added.