After a chaotic and terrifying scene unfolded in Washington, D.C. today — with a violent pro-President Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol — a major trade group is calling for VP Mike Pence to “seriously consider working with the Cabinet” to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president.
Jay Timmons, president and CEO of National Association of Manufacturers and a Trump ally, issued one of the strongest statements from the business community following today’s attack on democracy.
“Armed violent protestors who support the baseless claim by outgoing president Trump that he somehow won an election that he overwhelmingly lost have stormed the U.S. Capitol today, attacking police officers and first responders, because Trump refused to accept defeat in a free and fair election,” Timmons said. “Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such. The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit. Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in all 50 states. The industry employs more than 12.1 million men and women and contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, the group said.
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“This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend. Across America today, millions of manufacturing workers are helping our nation fight the deadly pandemic that has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives,” Timmons said in the statement. “We are trying to rebuild an economy and save and rebuild lives. But none of that will matter if our leaders refuse to fend off this attack on America and our democracy—because our very system of government, which underpins our very way of life, will crumble.”
Other trade groups also condemned the violence. “The American Apparel & Footwear Association is saddened and disturbed by the violent assault on our democracy and democratic values,” a statement issued this evening said. “Today’s scenes may have begun as peaceful protest, but quickly escalated into a direct attack on our nation’s core beliefs and way of life when an armed mob stormed the Capitol. This was unacceptable; it was crime against the United States and its people.”
The AAFA said it is “long past time” for the country to unite and support a peaceful transition of power. President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Jan. 20. “We have a great deal of work ahead of us to heal our nation and our economy, and our democratic institutions must be fully defended so they can be fully deployed to support that work,” the AAFA said.