150 business leaders, including Google’s Sundar Pichai and longtime Trump ally Stephen Schwarzman, are backing Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in a letter to Congress

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, President Joe Biden, Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, President Joe Biden, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

  • More than 150 execs at big US firms have said they support Joe Biden’s relief package.
  • Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among those who signed a letter to lawmakers.
  • “Congress should act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize a stimulus and relief package,” the execs wrote.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

More than 150 executives from top US companies spanning a range of industries including finance, tech, and real estate have backed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in a letter sent to Congress Wednesday.

They include Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who was a longtime ally of President Donald Trump; Google CEO Sundar Pichai; and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

The letter, written by the Partnership for New York City, was addressed to Charles Ellis Schumer, the Senate majority leader; Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House; Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader; and Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader.

The letter calls for lawmakers to approve the relief package. The executives said they “urge immediate and large-scale federal legislation to address the health and economic crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CNN first reported on the news.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, the American Rescue Plan, includes proposals for additional $1,400 stimulus checks, bigger federal unemployment benefits, and expanded family and child benefits, as well as plans to tackle the pandemic through testing, vaccines, and support for reopening schools safely.

“Previous federal relief measures have been essential, but more must be done to put the country on a trajectory for a strong, durable recovery,” the executives wrote.

“Congress should act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize a stimulus and relief package along the lines of the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed American Rescue Plan.”

John Zimmer, the cofounder and president of Lyft; Brian Roberts, the chairman and CEO of Comcast; Larry Fink, the chairman and CEO of BlackRock; and John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T, also signed the letter.

Executives from the following companies are among those that signed the letter:

  • Banking and investment: Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, Visa, S&P Global, MasterCard, and Blackstone
  • Technology: Google, Intel, IBM, Siemens, Zoom, DoorDash, and Lyft
  • Hospitality and retail: Loews Hotels & Co, LVMH, Etsy, and Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines, and JetBlue Airways
  • Telecommunications: AT&T and Comcast
  • Real estate, insurance, and utility firms

Schwarzman was a longtime ally of President Donald Trump who defended Trump’s lawsuits challenging his loss in the 2020 US election. In the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riot, Schwarzman said he was “shocked and horrified” by the insurrection and called for a peaceful transition to Biden.

Biden has previously said the US needs new measures to deal with both the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

“We can’t let one wait,” he told reporters earlier this month. “We can’t get everybody well and then move on the economy. We have to move quickly on both.”

The executives supported this stance in their letter.

“Strengthening the public health response to coronavirus is the first step toward economic restoration,” the executives wrote, per CNN.

Biden and the White House have been working with business leaders to gather support for his stimulus deal.

On February 10, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Gap, Lowe’s, and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the stimulus deal and the push for a $15 federal minimum wage.

Biden’s administration has also spoken with representatives from the Business Roundtable, Ernst & Young, General Motors, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Black Economic Alliance, a White House official told CNBC.

The role big businesses play in politics has come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Capitol siege. Dozens of top US businesses halted donations to Trump and other lawmakers who challenged the election’s integrity.

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Blackstone CEO and longtime Trump ally Stephen Schwarzman says he is ‘shocked and horrified’ by the ‘insurrection’ that followed the president’s speech, calls for a peaceful transition

Trump Blackstone
  • Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman slammed the violence in Washington, DC, that followed Trump’s speech on Wednesday, calling it an “insurrection.”
  • “I am shocked and horrified by this mob’s attempt to undermine our constitution,” he said in a statement to Insider.
  • Schwarzman had previously defended Trump’s lawsuits challenging the election results during a phone call in November with dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Blackstone CEO, chairman, and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman on Wednesday denounced Trump supporters’ violent attacks on the US Capitol after following the president’s inciting rhetoric.

“The insurrection that followed the President’s remarks today is appalling and an affront to the democratic values we hold dear as Americans,” Schwarzman said in a statement to Insider.

“I am shocked and horrified by this mob’s attempt to undermine our constitution.  As I said in November, the outcome of the election is very clear and there must be a peaceful transition of power,” he added.

Schwarzman’s criticism is notable given his close ties to Trump and previous defense of his attempts to challenge the US presidential election results.

In late November, Schwarzman admitted that Trump had lost the election. Just weeks earlier, however, when more than 24 CEOs of Fortune 500 firms met to discuss what to do if Trump refused to leave the White House, Schwarzman defended Trump’s baseless election lawsuits, according to the Associated Press.

During the call, Schwarzman challenged the suggestion by other executives that there was a possibility of a coup, repeated at least one of the president’s unsubstantiated voter fraud claims, and expressed skepticism over the Pennsylvania results, according to the AP.

Schwarzman has been a Trump ally and staunch defender as far back as 2016, when he headed up a group of business leaders to “frequently” advise then-President-elect Trump on economic matters.

Read the original article on Business Insider