The CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobbying group that long has backed Republican presidents, says President Donald Trump “should not delay the transition” to President-elect Joe Biden “a moment longer.”
Chamber of Commerce chief Tom Donohue pointedly called Biden the “president-elect” in a statement to media outlet Axios.com that urged Trump to allow federal officials to begin the transition process to the former Democratic vice president.
“President-elect Biden and the team around him have a wealth of executive branch experience that should allow them to hit the ground running,” Donohue told the news site.
Donohue also said that “while the Trump administration can continue litigating to confirm election outcomes, for the sake of Americans’ safety and well-being, it should not delay the transition a moment longer.”
A Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman referred CNBC to Donohue’s remarks to Axios when asked for comment from him.
Donohue’s group spends more money on lobbying than any other entity in the United States, a whopping $59.3 million this year, according to the political spending tracking site OpenSecrets.org. While the group’s political action committee increased its donations to Democratic candidates this year, its donations to Republicans were three times as much, according to OpenSecrets.
Trump has refused to concede the presidential election to Biden, falsely claiming to have won the election and alleging — without evidence — widespread voting fraud that benefitted his Democratic opponent to a decisive degree.
Emily Murphy, administrator of the federal General Services Administration, has failed to sign a letter of ascertainment that would recognize Biden as the next president and release funds for a transition to begin.
On Thursday, the leaders of another major business group, the National Association of Manufacturers, called on Murphy to sign the letter.
“While we understand and respect the court challenges that are a part of our democratic process, it’s imperative that our nation has a President and advisors who are fully prepared to lead our nation on Inauguration Day given the magnitude of the challenges ahead and the threats to our economic and national security, and most importantly, to the public health,” the manufacturing group said.
“It is highly appropriate that the Trump administration allow key individuals from the Biden team to access critical government personnel and information now.”
The group also said, “we call on the Trump administration to work cooperatively with President-elect Biden and his team.”
“There is no time to waste nor room for error. Manufacturers have been leading throughout these crises, and we know what is at stake: American lives and livelihoods.”