Business Groups Condemn Siege On Capitol

Business groups – including housing and mortgage organizations – were quick to condemn the mob that overran the Capitol on Wednesday as the Congress was working to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Bob Broeksmit condemned “the vicious, lawless mob that descended on the U.S. Capitol today and wreaked havoc on our democratic process.”

“Their actions were abhorrent and not representative of the ideals and character of America,” Broeksmit said. “The United States’ democracy is the model for the world; those who deliberately undermine or disrespect it, or who fail to protect it, should be ashamed. … MBA looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and new Congress in the weeks and months ahead.”

The National Association of Realtors echoed MBA’s statement.

“The scenes we are watching unfold as a nation are shocking and leave us in disbelief,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said. “America’s largest trade association stands with our democracy and our nation’s centuries-old observance of peaceful protests and the peaceful transfer of power. What happened today at the U.S. Capitol was an assault on both.

“We urge for calm and fully support the U.S. Capitol Police and the National Guard to restore safety to the city of Washington, D.C,” Oppler continued. “Members of Congress, their staff, Capitol Police Officers and workers at the U.S. Capitol today came under attack. These are scenes that should not stand in the United States of America and are no part of our fabric as a free, compassionate and tolerant people.”

The National Association of Home Builders also weighed in.

“The peaceful protests that turned into an assault on the U.S. Capitol today have no place in American society and only serve to undermine our democracy,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. “We fully support the efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, National Guard and other law enforcement agencies to move quickly to restore order, peacefully disperse the rioters, and secure the Capitol complex.

“We also applaud the Congress for getting back to work this evening on behalf of the American people.”

None of the housing groups, however, went so far as the National Association of Manufacturers, which called on administration leaders to consider invoking the 25th Amendment – which would allow them to remove President Trump.

“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,” NAM President and CEO Jay 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,” Timmons said. “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.”

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads, “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”