After President Joe Biden unveiled an ambitious new vaccine policy designed to help end the pandemic, Texas Governor Greg Abbott was among the many Republicans who were quick to voice their outrage.
“Biden’s vaccination mandate is an attack on private companies,” the governor wrote on Twitter.
There was an air of irony in the Texan’s message. After all, there are some business owners in his own state who wanted to draw up Covid-19 safety logs, but Abbott refused them and launched some sort of “attack” against “private companies” who are taking the pandemic more seriously than he does.
But other than that, the governor’s message raised a related question: If Abbott’s law and White House policies are an outrageous offense against the private sector, won’t the backlash from Corporate America be cruel?
With this in mind, Joshua Bolten, CEO of Business Roundtable – a powerful DC organization that campaigns on behalf of corporate interests – issued a written statement on Biden’s vaccination policy.
“Business Roundtable welcomes the continued vigilance of the Biden government in the fight against COVID. America’s business leaders understand the importance of vaccination and testing in fighting the pandemic, which is why so many resources have invested in encouraging and motivating their customers and employees to get vaccinated. including the provision of paid time off. In the last few weeks, many companies have decided to implement a vaccination mandate for some or all of their employees, a decision that we welcome. “
Maybe nobody told the Business Roundtable about the “attack on private companies”?
Of course, this is just an organization that advocates corporate interests. There are others.
So I checked the US Chamber of Commerce website to see if the group had anything negative to say about White House politics. It has not. The Chamber’s Twitter feed also said nothing about Biden’s initiative.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses also did not issue any critical press releases or publish any critical tweets.
If not obvious, these organizations are not afraid of the violets, not afraid to express their views on policies that affect businesses. For example, if the president had announced a proposal to dramatically increase the corporate tax rate, the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses would have a lot to say.
But yesterday they didn’t. In the Business Roundtable’s case, Corporate America actually seemed quite pleased with Biden’s policies.
And it’s worth appreciating why. While these private-sector interests groups tend to be devoted to republican politics and conservative ideas, the fact remains that business leaders want to make money. You want to be successful in a growing economy. You want healthy employees and customers.
This really isn’t complicated: the pandemic is bad for business, and Biden has a plan to make things better.
Whether or not private sector executives are willing to admit it, the president did a tremendous favor yesterday: Biden gives them cover and ensures that business owners who want to do the right thing can’t just blame the White House but they also don’t have to worry about their employees moving to another company as the policy of administration is widespread.
With all of the hysteria among Republicans about the president’s agenda, there’s no great mystery why corporate interests haven’t made a big fuss in the past 24 hours: they seem to believe Biden is right.
To update: The National Association of Manufacturers, another traditional ally of the GOP in the private sector, has largely adopted Biden’s new policy.
“Vaccinating all eligible Americans will primarily reduce hospital admissions and save lives,” said Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, in a statement. “But it is also an economic imperative as our recovery and quality of life depend on our ability to end this pandemic.”