Walmart CEO: Americans Need Help, Congress Should Pass Stimulus Package

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  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Thursday called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to collaborate on a second stimulus package.
  • McMillon’s comment comes as Congress has been slow to negotiate a new stimulus package since the implementation of the $ 2.2 trillion CARES law in March.
  • Walmart has been one of the few exceptions to a company’s success amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it and other retailers could face falling sales if consumer spending takes a hit without it. more government assistance.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Thursday urged Congress to put partisanship aside and focus on passing a second wave of stimulus.

During an interview on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’, McMillon spoke in general about how urgent he believes it is for American workers to receive government assistance as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sustain millions. unemployed people.

As the presidential election quickly approaches and early voting is already underway in many states, McMillon called on Democrats and Republicans, including House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, to collaborate before it’s too late.

“For both sides I think what they have to keep in mind is that there are Americans who need it, who don’t really care about politics, aren’t really connected. in this election and they just need help, ”McMillon said in an interview with CNBC. “Doing nothing is not the first and the best option. ”

McMillon’s comment comes as Congress has failed to pass a new stimulus package since the implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act of 2, $ 2 trillion, in March.

“I would say at this point it would be difficult to do something before the election and execute it, given where we are in the details,” Mnuchin said.

Even though the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September as the US economy added 661,000 more jobs, other figures indicate that an economic recovery may be far from over.

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims in the United States rose to 898,000 unadjusted for the week ending Saturday. That total was slightly higher than economists’ median estimate of 825,000. Not to mention, long-term unemployment continued to soar.

“Not everyone is on the same camp,” McMillon said. “There are people who are still at home spending money on their house and doing things to redecorate and that sort of thing. But there are other people who struggle between paycheck and paycheck – if they have a paycheck – and so many other people are unemployed and we are seeing that pressure as well. ”

Walmart has been one of the few exceptions to company-wide success in responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Its digital sales have almost doubled from a year ago and same-store sales are up 9%.

Despite Walmart’s continued success amid the pandemic, McMillion has previously said federal stimulus funds attributed to the company’s ability to navigate the “volatile” environment. Without a new round of stimulus, consumer spending could be affected, which is not what Walmart wants ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.

Walmart, in the meantime, has made some changes.

This summer, the retail giant announced it would close its doors on Thanksgiving Day, effectively ending its tradition of starting Black Friday sales in-store.

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