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Business leaders react to President Biden's vaccine mandate for companies

Part of the new plan requires private companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations or weekly negative COVID tests.

To combat the delta variant, President Joe Biden is expanding vaccine mandates.

Part of the new plan requires private companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations or weekly negative COVID tests.

RELATED: President Biden announces new vaccine mandates affecting 100 million Americans

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is already working to challenge the rule in court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted, "I will see you in court soon!" on Friday afternoon.

Glenn Hamer is CEO of the Texas Association of Business. He says he fully supports vaccination efforts, but businesses have been blindsided by this move. He says some workers may refuse to work for companies with vaccine mandates at a time when many are already struggling to fill open positions.

“It’s arrogant, it’s divisive, and it’s not going to work,” said Hamer. “Unfortunately, the way the administration is approaching this is unconstitutional for one and is going to be counterproductive, particularly in states like Texas where people care about freedom.”

He argues vaccines should always be encouraged, and never forced.

RELATED: Most workplaces in viral text do mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, including CDC and Pfizer

But Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, says the president’s order is in line with what local businesses want to do. GHP surveyed members last week. Harvey says 23% already have vaccine mandates in place.

“Another 30% said they are considering it. Another what turns out to be 47% are not considering doing it, but the principal reason they cite is fear of losing employees if they mandated such,” said Harvey.

RELATED: Here's what a legal expert thinks of Biden's vaccine mandate

Harvey says this order is telling businesses to do what many in Houston are already considering to combat the virus.

“We’re facing an acute issue in Houston right now with COVID. As bad or worse than it’s ever been. This is one of the few remaining tools at our disposal to address this issue – getting vaccinated,” said Harvey.

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