With the election over—for the most part—and some states now faced with having to recount, even hand count, ballots, there is still a great deal of uncertainty. As far back as this summer, Trump hinted that he might not accept the results of the election should Biden win. This is the scenario with which we are now faced. A Biden win has been declared by most, and yet the current president refuses to accept this outcome.
Where does that leave things? The existing administration is refusing to cooperate with any transition teams. They are throwing up roadblock after roadblock when it comes to handing over power to the president-elect. Trump thus far flat out refuses to concede this election and it is causing great strife in Washington, not to mention around the country. Trump voters are as adamant as the president that the election was somehow rigged and thereby Trump is the rightful winner. So what does happen if Trump refuses to leave office? Is there a protocol to be followed? In this article, we look at some of the ramifications in terms of what could happen if the sitting president continues to refuse to concede the 2020 election.
The Political Problems
As of November 10, there have been over 76 million ballots cast for Biden and over 71 million for Trump. Major news stations and outlets have called the election for Biden. He has the electoral votes needed to win the White House. That said, there are several lawsuits that Trump has put in place to try and overturn some of these results. And as mentioned, he has refused to concede a loss.
There are a couple of key deadlines coming up. By December 8th, the states need to certify their vote counts. And by December 14th the electors will also need to certify their votes. Then of course there is the inauguration and swearing-in of the new president on January 20th. If by that point, Donald Trump refuses to accept the election results and consequently remains in the White House, we could potentially be looking at a national crisis, one in which the Secret Service may need to get involved.
In essence, if at the point of the inauguration Trump has not physically left the White House, he could be considered a trespasser as he will no longer be the US president and could thus be escorted off of the premises.
The pressing issue right now is the transition and the lack of any movement by the current White House to work with the Biden team on that front. Particularly when it comes to the pandemic, the country has a legitimate crisis on its hands. The lack of cooperation between the outgoing and incoming administrations is not helping it may serve to exacerbate the crisis even more.
Not to mention, we are faced with an ongoing economic crisis as well. Leaders coming together to hammer out future relief plans and set a tone for the months and year to come is imperative as far as ensuring that we do come out of this recession. But Trump is showing no signs that he is willing to budge on that front. The White House recently informed the press that it is going ahead with plans for Trump’s February budget as though an overturn in election results is a foregone conclusion.
What This Could Mean for Businesses
Political instability such that we are facing if Trump does not leave the White House could mean major problems for businesses across the US. Obviously, with something unprecedented like this, markets will be impacted. And when markets are impacted, stock prices plummet, leaving many business owners scrambling to try and figure out what to do next.
With unemployment rates still relatively high and income inequality increasingly evident, businesses are struggling to keep workers working. Many are looking to a new round of federal relief, and yet, given the political upheaval, such relief is not likely any time soon.
There is also the question of rising trade barriers and weakened relations with countries overseas, both at the political and economic levels. This could in turn greatly impact supply chains and distribution plans further hampering companies that are already struggling to pivot in a pandemic climate.
What happens in the next few weeks will substantially impact the country, its reputation, its citizens, and its businesses. As noted, the unwillingness of Trump to concede this election is unprecedented in the country’s history. Of the presidents before, none have ever ultimately refused to concede and thus have set the tone for a peaceful transfer of power.
America is now on a world stage; not only are the voters of this country anxious to see how and when this plays out, but leaders from around the world are also weighing in on Trump’s refusal to stand down. Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel for example have each called to congratulate the president-elect while expressing their desire to work together in the coming years on the current challenges faced around the world—a clear nod to their recognition of Biden as the imminent US president.
Whether or not the Secret Service will have to escort Donald Trump from the White House come inauguration day remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, the world will most definitely be watching as events continue to unfold.
First Union Lending is here to help small businesses make it through this. We offer short-term loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances among other such products. Our approach is always to custom-tailor financing solutions to your individual business needs—no one size fits all approach with us. We understand that in a variety of ways things are uncertain now. And that is why we will do all that we can to get you the additional working capital needed to help add some stability. Call today!