Beyond the $86 Million Buyout: What Else We Found in the Chamber's 990s

The Chamber received 83% of its funding in 2009 from contributors that gave $100,000 or more.

The largest contribution the U.S. Chamber received in 2009 was an $86.2 million contribution to fight health care reform.  The contribution accounted for 42% of the total contributions the U.S. Chamber took in 2009.  [US Chamber of Commerce 990; Bloomberg News, 11/17/10]

The U.S. Chamber received another 15 contributions of $1 million or more.  This represented another 13% of its total contributions.

The U.S. Chamber received another 64 contributions of between $250,000 and $1 million, which equals another 14% of their contributors.

The U.S. Chamber received another 229 contribution of between $100,000 and $250,000, which accounted for another 14% of their total.

Amount of Contribution

# of Contributions

% of contributions accounted for

$86.2 million

1

42%

$1 million or more

16

55%

$250,000 or more

80

69%

$100,000 or more

309

83%

The Health Insurance industry’s contribution masked what would have otherwise been declining contributions to the Chamber.  Without the $86.2 million infusion of cash from the insurance industry, the Chamber’s revenue from contributions would have declined by $20 million.

The Chamber’s total contributions increased by 47%, or $65,510,166 dollars from 2008 to 2009. 

However, without $86.2 million contribution to the Chamber from the health insurance industry, the Chamber’s contributions would have declined by 15%, or over $20 million.

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Just In

Whose opportunity does U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue talk about when he talks about opportunity?

The Chamber’s policies might give the largest corporations the opportunity to grow, but that is often not the same thing as growth and opportunity for the American people. After-tax corporate profits in the third quarter topped 11 percent of GDP for the first time since the records started in 1947. But everyday Americans aren’t doing so well, with real median household income declining 4.4 percent since 2009.

When the Chamber opposes increasing minimum wages to coincide with growth in productivity and the economy overall, one must ask whose growth and opportunity the Chamber is pushing for.