On Tuesday President Biden met leading U.S. business leaders such as Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase, Doug McMillon from Walmart Inc. Sonia Syngal from Gap Inc. and Marvin Ellison from Lowe’s Cos among others. Kamala Harris, Vice President, Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary and Tom Donohue, CEO, Chamber of Commerce, were also present at the Oval Office meeting.
According to a person briefed in the meeting, the group discussed the economic difficulties that many Americans were still facing. They also discussed ways and means that would lead to an equitable recovery. The pandemic and its aftermath were also discussed, especially its detrimental effects on minorities and women.
The corporate magnates shared a few business practices including the way in which they administer benefits to the lower paid workers in their companies. The government officials did not ask any leader to support a specific policy.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the meeting was an opportunity for the president to share the specifics of his proposal and get feedback. She also said that the business leaders did not agree with him on everything and he also did not agree with them on everything.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are two powerful lobbying groups are traditional allies of the GOP. However, they are beginning to warm up to the Democrats, after facing problems with the erstwhile protectionist trade measures propounded by the Trump administration.
President Biden looks forward to support from the corporates as it may help some Republicans to soften their stand towards his huge stimulus bill but he is determined to go forward with it, despite opposition from the GOP.
He has always reiterated that they should “think big.” He has total support from liberal Democrats and progressive groups who urge him not to give in to pressure by the Republicans, who want to scale down operations to one third of the level proposed by the Democrats.
The Democrats can push forward the stimulus bill through a process called “reconciliation,” which does not need support from the Republicans and President Biden and his team of Democrats have already started the process.