Business Leaders to Trump: It’s Time to Start the Transition

With President Trump refusing to start the transition of power and a stalled stimulus bill, the economic future of the United States looks bleak and unemployment may spike again. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

With President Trump refusing to start the transition of power and a stalled stimulus bill, the economic future of the United States looks bleak and unemployment may spike again. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

By Elle Meyers

November 23, 2020

While CEOs push Trump to begin the transition of power in hopes of avoiding economic devastation, Biden seeks to restart stimulus talks.

More than 160 chief executives will ask the current administration to acknowledge Biden’s election win and begin the transition of power. The group—which includes executives from MasterCard, Visa, MetLife, and Condé Nast—has cited concerns that President Donald Trump’s efforts to delay the transition of power will further damage the nation and its economy.

The group has been working to come up with ways to pressure the Trump administration and key GOP lawmakers, who have so far refused to acknowledge Biden’s win. In a bid to heighten that pressure, some chief executives have considered withholding campaign donations from the two Republican candidates in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff election, according to the New York Times, which will determine control of the Senate. 

The chief executives also plan to send a letter to Emily W. Murphy, who serves as head of the General Services Administration. So far, Murphy has rejected calls to engage in normal transition planning and has refused to provide necessary resources and funding to Biden’s incoming administration. 

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“Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished,” the executives wrote in a draft of their letter, obtained and reviewed by The New York Times

“Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk,” the letter continued.

The push from private industry leaders to encourage a smooth transition of power comes as the Biden team is working to reopen stimulus talks. 

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Economists have warned that without an economic stimulus deal the United States could face another economic downturn this winter. Millions of Americans are facing the end of their unemployment benefits on Dec. 26 if Congress does not extend them. According to economists at Moody’s Analytics, the loss of that federal funding could result in a “double-dip” recession in which an economy drops, recovers slightly and then crashes once more. 

Experts at Moody’s Analytics predict that without government intervention, 3 million jobs could disappear in the first six months of 2021. The unemployment rate could also see a major spike, climbing from its current rate of 6.9% all the way up to nearly 10%. 

For months, lawmakers have haggled over the size of the next stimulus package. Democrats have maintained that funding needs to aid state and local governments, as well as enhanced unemployment benefits and aid for small businesses. Republicans have balked at the price tag, refusing to pass any proposals. 

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Most recently, Senate Republicans proposed a $500 billion package that Democrats called insufficient. Economists have said that a stimulus package like the one proposed might get the country through to when a vaccine is deployed, but also risks running out before the U.S is out of the woods. 

The Biden team is encouraging lawmakers to restart their discussions and get aid to Americans. 

“There needs to be emergency assistance and aid during the lame-duck session to help families, to help small businesses,” Jen Psaki, who works as a Biden transition aid, said on Friday before a meeting with Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “There’s no more room for delay, and we need to move forward as quickly as possible. 


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