Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise have recently stated they refuse to meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to its endorsement of Democrats.
The Republican leaders are claiming that the Chamber since the lobbying group has endorsed multiple Democrats in the past couple of elections. Mark Bednar, a chief spokesman for McCarthy, told CNBC on Monday that the Chamber of Commerce no longer aligns with the interests of the Republican Party.
“The priorities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have not aligned with the priorities of House Republicans or the interests of their own members, and they should not expect a meeting with Speaker McCarthy as long as that’s the case,” Bednar said.
A spokeswoman for Scalise, Lauren Fine, made a similar statement. “Washington has radically shifted away from the pro-business philosophy of most local Chambers across America,” she said. Fine further slammed the Chamber’s move to endorse Democrats running for House seats and claimed “unless the Chamber gets back to their traditional pro-business roots, they should not expect to have any engagement with Majority Leader Scalise’s office.”
CNBC also reported that the House Republicans may also seek to investigate the Chamber of Commerce and have begun drafting questions about its stance on the Biden Administration’s ESG policies:
McCarthy’s refusal to meet with the Chamber is the latest strike in an ongoing feud between some House Republican members and the national business group. The Intercept reported that House Republicans plan to investigate the Chamber as GOP lawmakers take on anyone who supports President Joe Biden’s push for more environmental, social, and governance (ESG) regulations. Elsewhere, The Daily Caller reported that the Chamber plans to sue the Securities and Exchange Commission if it goes forward with a climate change-related disclosure rule.
Republican House lawmakers are drafting questions to send to the Chamber in the coming weeks, asking about its stance on ESG issues as well as questioning some of the group’s own conduct, including reportedly allowing former Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue to use the organization’s corporate jet for personal trips, according to lawmakers and advisors aiming to probe the organization. These people declined to be named in order to speak freely about private discussions.
Kevin McCarthy reemphasized that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was not welcome in the Republican Party until it returned to supporting American values. “The Chamber left the party a long time ago,” McCarthy said. “In the last election, the Chamber supported Democrats. The Chamber gave a higher score to Democrats, who are voting for this policy because they signed some letter then voted the opposite of what the letter said, than Kevin Brady, who was chair of Ways and Means and brought us the tax cuts.”
Spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce Tim Doyle stated that the organization had no particular political leanings. “The Chamber’s priorities include lower taxes, reduced spending, fighting overregulation and numerous other issues, and we are aligned with House Republicans on many of the issues that are important to American businesses of all sizes,” Doyle said. “We do disagree with those who believe the Chamber should become a single-party partisan organization and we recognize that difference has created some tension. We will continue, however, to do what we have done for over 110 years and that is advance the free-market priorities of the American business community.”
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