Business leaders warn they will fight against moves to raise corporate taxes, tighten regulations and double federal minimum wage under the Biden administration – while signaling strong support for the new president’s plans to tame the pandemic and stimulate the US economy.
Business associations and individual leaders publicly asserted the legitimacy of Mr. Biden’s election, withdrew campaign contributions from Republicans who challenged his victory, and gave parts of his platform a warmer reception than the Democrats were receiving. regulars in the business world.
They also welcomed a number of policy reversal proposals, including returning to the Paris climate agreement and reintegrating into the World Health Organization and creating a path to citizenship for 11 million. undocumented immigrants.
These were “a very promising start for a new federal administration,” the New York City Partnership said Tuesday.
“The CEOs of Commercial round table be ready to be constructive partners ”to the new administration, said Doug McMillon, general manager of Walmart who chairs the big business lobby.
The American Chamber of Commerce, who has traditionally supported many more Republicans than Democrats, adopted a similar tone last week when chief executive Tom Donohue said he would “look for many ways to make the Biden administration successful.”
But Mr Donohue covered his comment by adding that members of the corporate group would not “give the store away from the start.”
The midst of a fragile pandemic recovery was “exactly the wrong time to further test the resilience of businesses by raising taxes or filling up with new regulations that do more harm than good,” he warned, saying that the chamber would use all the tools at its disposal to avoid “regulatory overruns”.
Raising corporate taxes would be “a really backward step,” BRT chief executive Josh Bolten said on Tuesday, even as he voiced the group’s support for Biden’s plans to speed up vaccinations, support health workers. small businesses and pursue policy priorities ranging from infrastructure investments to tariff revision. America’s allies.
Their comments were both a reaffirmation of long-held positions on taxation and regulation and a signal that Mr Biden is likely to find that corporate support is limited, especially when it comes to funding his plans. of expenses.
It could also leave the new president struggling to satisfy a liberal wing of his party that is determined to see corporate tax increases, tighter regulations on energy, financial and tech companies, and a pay rise. federal minimum of $ 7.25 per hour to $ 15.
McMillon said BRT members favored raising the minimum wage in a “thoughtful” way that took into account geographic differences and the needs of small businesses. Neil Bradley, the chamber’s policy director, said he saw “nothing sane at $ 15,” arguing that such a rate would cost jobs and hurt the economy.
Democrats’ plans to stimulate the economy with iinvestment in infrastructure programs ranging from building bridges to upgrading broadband networks have found broad support among business leaders, who have expressed hope that such steps could push through a Congress almost equally divided.
“Even in a 50-50 Senate and a House divided by 5 votes, it can be done – and it could create some goodwill for bipartisan progress on other priorities,” Donohue said last week. But he argued that new infrastructure investments should be paid in part by the people who use them, rather than through higher corporate taxes.
Leaders have shown strong support for Biden’s proposed immigration reforms, retraining programs for unemployed Americans, and much of the new administration’s climate agenda.
Tuesday, the room announced a change in its climate policy to support market-based approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without endorsing any specific carbon pricing proposals. “I think this is one of the areas where there will be a lot of alignment with the new administration and the business world,” Mr. McMillon said.
With little room for maneuver in Congress, Biden can take comfort in a growing consensus among corporate donors that corporations need to give more weight to politicians who are willing to work across the aisle.
Responding to the attack on Capitol Hill that interrupted a vote to certify Mr Biden’s electoral victory, Mr Bradley said last week that the chamber would be methodical both in restraining politicians who had ‘lost’ its support by their actions and reward those who had “Stood up under very trying and difficult circumstances”.
Mr. McMillon supported this suggestion on Tuesday. Asked how companies could push for more bipartisan policy making in a divided Congress that has been marked for years by partisan divide, the Walmart chief said, “Reward the centrists.”