Chief executives and other leaders from many of America’s largest businesses on Monday urged Congress to certify the electoral vote on Wednesday to confirm Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential victory.
“Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy,” they said in a statement. Included in the list of 170 signers were Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, Logan Green and John Zimmer of Lyft, Brad Smith of Microsoft, Albert Bourla of Pfizer, and James Zelter of Apollo Global Management.
Over the weekend, President Trump called Georgia’s Republican secretary of state in an effort to subvert the election results. On the call, which was recorded, the president pressured the official to “find” enough votes to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory. The president’s demand raised questions about whether he violated election fraud statutes, lawyers said, though a charge is unlikely. President-elect Biden won the Electoral College, 306 to 232, and the popular vote was 81.2 million for Mr. Biden to Mr. Trump’s 74.2 million.
Members of the president’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 came 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.
Business leaders took issue with Washington’s new divide at a moment of grave uncertainty.
“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,” the business leaders wrote. “There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.”
The statement, which was organized by Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy organization, came on the same day that Thomas J. Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement urging certification of the vote.
“Efforts by some members of Congress to disregard certified election results in an effort to change the election outcome or to try a make a long-term political point undermines our democracy and the rule of law and will only result in further division across our nation,” Mr. Donohue wrote.
“The United States of America faces enormous challenges that not only require an orderly transition of administrations, but the focus of the incoming Biden administration and the new Congress, and cooperation across party lines,” he continued. “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 combating the pandemic and supporting our economic recovery.”