The White House said Friday President Joe Biden is continuing “to work the phones,” with “urgency,” calling members of Congress in hopes that Democrats will actually vote on at least one of the two major bills of his agenda.
Watch principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre hold a briefing in the player above.
“There’s a sense of urgency, as you’ve heard us say from everyone, from all the members on the Hill to get this done for the American people and inaction is not the answer,” said Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden had planned to leave mid afternoon for his home in Delaware but as of Friday evening, he remained at the White House in hopes of a congressional vote.
Top Democrats abruptly postponed a House vote Friday on the $1.85 trillion domestic spending legislation, but they were still looking to take up the $1 trillion infrastruture package, though even the fate of that popular bill was in doubt.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen Republican-led states filed lawsuits Friday challenging President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirement for private companies, setting up a high-stakes legal showdown pitting federal authority against states’ rights.
WATCH: Pelosi says Build Back Better bill ‘solidly paid for,’ but passage still uncertain
The requirement issued Thursday by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration applies to businesses with more than 100 employees.
Their workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.
At the briefing, Jean-Pierre said the Labor Department is within its rights to require employers have their workers either vaccinated or tested.
“OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has broad authority to issue and enforce health and safety standards to protect workers and staying safe and healthy in their jobs,” Jean Pierre said.
“This is about saving people’s lives…and making sure that their workplace is safe.” she added.
Biden, meeting reporters to tout a strong monthly jobs report, said he was returning to the Oval Office “to make some calls” to lawmakers. He said he would ask them to “vote yes on both these bills right now.”