Republicans Make Plans To Ditch The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce
Yesterday, the Republican Study Committee which is a group of U.S. House conservatives, welcomed a new alternative group to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for lunch. The American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce is an organization that is designed to compete with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Ties between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Congressional Republicans have been frayed since the Trump era. It has culminated in the Chamber endorsing some Democrats in competitive races in 2020.
House Republicans welcomed to the Capitol on Wednesday a new self-described “anti-woke” business lobbying group, amplifying their hostility toward the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and broader “environmental, social and corporate governance” (ESG) movement.
Why it matters: The U.S. Chamber used to wield enormous power within the GOP as the representative of business interests. But the country’s largest lobbying group is now viewed with contempt across large swaths of the Republican Party
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says he won’t even meet with the group if he’s speaker next year.
The GOP Senate Conference isn’t nearly as hostile as the House. But several high-profile Republican senators, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas, have been publicly attacking the business lobby for months.
Driving the news: The Republican Study Committee, the largest group of conservatives in the House, invited leaders of the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, to lunch at the Capitol.
First of all, let’s get something straight. The Republican Party may be shifting away from corporate lobbies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but it will still be the more pro-free enterprise and pro-business party. Small and medium-sized businesses are still the core of the Republican Party. Republican voters still like businessmen. It’s just making a long-overdue shift away from catering to big business.
Nor are alternatives to the Chamber a new thing. The Job Creators Network, for example, has been around a long time.
If the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to continue to align with Democrats, by all means, they should continue. But they can expect to continue to receive nothing even from “moderate” Democrats. The Democratic Party in its current form is fundamentally opposed to free enterprise.
While the Chamber and the GOP are moving for a split, don’t expect the GOP to become as economically interventionist as many populists would like. At its core, it’s still a pro-business party.