Jan 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Business leaders urge Republicans to drop Electoral College challenge

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz. Photo: Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images

U.S. business leaders are urging Republicans to drop their plans to object to certifying the 2020 election results, saying such efforts "run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy."

Driving the news: Several Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as well as a group of House members say they will oppose certifying Joe Biden's win, despite the fact that nearly all lawsuits brought by President Trump, his allies and his legal team to challenge the election results have been dismissed.

What they're saying:

  • A letter signed by more than 170 business leaders, including the CEOs of Pfizer, Lyft, Edelman, and Warby Parker and the COO of Blackstone, said that attempts "to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy."
    • "The incoming Biden administration faces the urgent tasks of defeating COVID-19 and restoring the livelihoods of millions of Americans who have lost jobs and businesses during the pandemic," the letter added.
    • "Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment when we are dealing with the worst health and economic crises in modern history."
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement Monday that the Republicans' plan "undermines our democracy and the rule of law and will only result in further division across our nation."
    • "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,” Donohue added.
  • National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement Monday that “manufacturers stand with members of Congress who intend to uphold their constitutional responsibility and vote to certify the Electoral College tallies that resulted from free, fair and legal elections in the states.”
    • “In every election, many Americans are disappointed by the results. But disappointment does not justify harming our democracy or undermining faith in our elections based on unproven charges and conspiracy theories," he added.
    • “Our industry has been fighting to protect our country,” Timmons said, pointing to the work manufacturers have done during the coronavirus pandemic.
    • “[N]ow we ask Congress to join us in healing our nation, instead of fostering more division and vitriol.”

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board also slammed GOP plans to challenge the election results, saying in a Sunday editorial that such efforts won't change the result, though they "will delay it as Congress spends up to two hours debating the objections to each state’s results. More corrosive will be the precedent and resulting political damage."

  • "In our view this week’s exercise is also unconstitutional," the board said.
  • "Some may figure the vote Wednesday is merely symbolic; they can show solidarity with Mr. Trump’s voters and dodge a primary challenge in 2022," it added.
  • "But the cost of this showboating will be more political cynicism, and a precedent that Democrats are sure to exploit in the aftermath of some future close election."

Go deeper: The Republicans who have denounced GOP plans to challenge election results

Go deeper