Through some impressive tracking work, CRP showed that one of the biggest mouthpieces for Big Business – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – has become the first organization to spend a total of $1 billion on lobbying since CRP started keeping track in 1998.
In comparison, the report showed the next highest spender during that time was General Electric, at just shy of $294 million.
Although this year so far has been slow for the U.S. Chamber (in terms of reported dollars spent on lobbying), the group’s spending has increased greatly since current President Tom Donohue took over the organization in 1997.
The year after Donohue started leading the U.S. Chamber, the group spent just $17 million. By 2010, that number had risen to $157 million.
Construction firm Skanska on Tuesday became the latest in a string of members to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the organization’s regressive policies.
This week we had great news when Skanska Corp. made the decision to depart the U.S. Chamber. The U.S. Chamber is fighting new green construction standards that the company supports. The U.S. Chamber was so determined to block these new standards that it helped start an advocacy group – the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition – dedicated to opposing them.
Skanksa said in its press release that the U.S. Chamber was supporting the interests of a few status quo businesses – those who manufacture materials that would be banned under new rules – over those of companies that are bringing innovation to the building and construction industry.
At least one member of the U.S. Chamber-backed advocacy group said that the new rules would put jobs at risk. More...
After receiving applause for my question, Google’s head lawyer David Drummond – who was helping Page to answer questions – responded that the company’s membership in the U.S. Chamber is something senior leadership debates a lot. He added that while there are some things that the U.S. Chamber is good for, there is a lot of stuff it does that Google doesn’t agree with.
He concluded by saying that, “while we are members for now, it’s something that we do review.”
These are all reasons that a group of more than a dozen unemployed workers just made the trek from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the doorsteps of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
I joined the group at a rally in front of the U.S. Chamber headquarters, an event Chamber Watch helped organize along with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Shut the Chamber and Move to Amend.
The message the group of brave travelers came with was that the policies being pushed by the U.S. Chamber are benefiting corporations while hurting the poor and the middle class.
How can you tell that momentum is building for change?
Well, one good sign is that the opposition starts getting nervous about your progress.
That’s why we took it as a positive sign that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently stepped up attacks on shareholders who attempt to make companies disclose political spending.
Earlier this month, I attended an almost comical presentation at the U.S. Chamber headquarters where speakers spent most of a four hour event attacking political spending disclosure resolutions as being bad for business.
I say ‘almost’ comical because, while much of the information is laughably wrong, the subject matter is far too important to joke about.
There are a number of things wrong with what I heard at this event, but I’d like to focus on two disturbing claims in particular.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy recently released a report that confirmed a fact many small business groups already know to be true: small businesses are leading the nation’s economic recovery. Green For All is one of the groups that has seen this first-hand. We have worked for years to support small green businesses with the skills and resources needed to create new jobs while improving our environment. We know from experience that small businesses are America’s principal drivers on the road to economic recovery. It is these businesses that are, time and time again, the most capable at fostering local community resilience in times of economic hardship.
Today, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce ( http://www.uswcc.org ) calls on congressional leaders to reject the Ryan Budget as wrong for the future of America, and pledges to take the case to protect the economic future of women to every community.