Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday told The Huffington Post that he sees no “downside” to an executive order banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but added that a law would be the better solution.

“I don't see any downside,” Biden answered when asked about President Barack Obama's reluctance to sign an executive order targeting federal contractors. “The way to do this is to pass ENDA. That ends it everywhere.”

When pressed on the issue of LGBT protections, Biden said that Obama “doesn't have the ability to ban it” and called ENDA “the single best, most significant way to do this.”

“I'm still hopeful,” he said of passage.

Obama has repeatedly rejected calls to sign an executive order, saying a law such as ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) would offer a broader and more durable solution.

However, Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said that an executive order targeting federal contractors would offer additional protections.

“If we had ENDA but no executive order, you could sue a federal contractor. But there's no ability for the government to say, 'Hey, it's completely inappropriate that you engaged in discrimination against a class of people, and if you want a contract with us again, you have to stop that behavior,'” Warbelow explained.

“It's a very big deal, and it's also why we need both ENDA and the executive order,” she added.

Last year, ENDA cleared the Senate with bipartisan support. And while Obama has pledged his signature, House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, has refused to call a vote on the legislation.

(Related: John Boehner: Gay workplace protections bill ENDA won't pass this year.)