America’s business leaders are ready to put the presidential election to rest.
More than 100 business executives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers released statements on Monday urging Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win.
Executives and founders of industries ranging from finance to media to fashion pushed back against President Donald Trump’s quixotic effort to overturn the election and insisted that Congress focus instead on the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward,” read a brief letter organized by the Partnership for New York City and signed by over 100 business leaders. “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the Electoral College and the courts have rejected challenges to the electoral process. Congress should certify the electoral vote on Wednesday, January 6. Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy.”
Signatories to the letter included leaders of Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Warby Parker, JetBlue, Condé Nast, Con Edison, Lyft and dozens of others.
Members of Trump’s party are divided over whether to accept that he lost the election: While top Republicans, such as Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, have pushed back on a futile attempt in Congress to reject the results, about a dozen senators and senators-elect have lined up behind President Trump’s bid to hold on to power.
The urging from business leaders comes on a volatile day for financial markets and just a day before runoff elections in Georgia, which will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate. Coronavirus cases are surging, and vaccinations are taking more time than hoped.
The disputes are occurring while the country faces its biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The three statements on Monday urged Congress to stop delaying and to focus instead on protecting Americans and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Throughout this pandemic, America’s manufacturing workers have heroically stepped up to ensure that our country has the supplies, food, vaccines, medicines and equipment we need,” the National Association of Manufacturers letter said. “Our industry has been fighting to protect our country, and now we ask Congress to join us in healing our nation, instead of fostering more division and vitriol.”
“We urge Congress to fulfill its responsibility in counting the electoral votes, the Trump administration to facilitate an orderly transition for the incoming Biden administration, and all of our elected officials to devote their energies to combatting the pandemic and supporting our economic recovery,” said the statement by U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue.
The chamber’s statement went on to discourage property damage as “thousands of Americans are expected to gather to voice their views,” in an implicit reference to a number of rallies planned in Washington to coincide with Congress’ vote count.
Trump himself has encouraged the protests, but city officials fear that it could lead to violent clashes. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the District’s National Guard to help local police in responding to the protesters.
“Small businesses, local communities, and our nation pay a steep price when demonstrations turn violent and destructive, so it is critical that these gatherings be peaceful,” Donohue’s statement said.