Failure of cybersecurity bill opens door for White House action Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lamented the outcome of the vote, saying action on cybersecurity is dead until next year. "Whatever we do for this bill, it's not enough for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," Reid said. "So everyone should understand cybersecurity is dead for this Congress. What an unfortunate thing, but that's the way it is." [The Hill]
As 'fiscal cliff' nears, business groups jostle for ear of White House, Congress In addition, West said any deal that would end the George W. Bush-era tax cuts would result in a stern response from her members, which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of small businesses. The Chamber is planning to submit a letter to all members of Congress on behalf of another broad coalition that will emphasize the need for entitlement reform. Using data from the Congressional Budget Office and the agency that runs Social Security, the letter will make the case that the “nation’s entitlement programs are unsustainable,” said R. Bruce Josten, a Chamber executive vice president. [Washington Post] Labor Leaders Have Obama’s Back, and Are Ready to HelpMore...
Business Groups Get Top U.S. Court Hearing on Arbitration The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from American Express Co. (AXP) in a clash with retailers over the credit cards they must accept, a case that may reinforce millions of arbitration agreements. A federal appeals court in New York let the merchants press their antitrust claims as a group even though they had agreed to pursue disputes individually before an arbitrator. Business trade groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce say that ruling undermines a 2011 Supreme Court decision letting companies use arbitration accords to block employees and consumers from pressing claims as a group. [Business Week]
The Pulse: Brace for havoc of a cyberattack Last summer, a group of Senate Republicans cited the objections of business interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as they blocked a cybersecurity bill championed by the White House and national security officials. [Philadelphia Inquirer] More...
SEC nixes Big Oil, US Chamber push to delay disclosure rule The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected industry groups’ request to freeze mandates that force oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. The American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups had urged the SEC to stay the requirements while the groups’ litigation against the rules plays out. [The Hill] Election over, K Street ready to cash in U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, whose organization already spends more on federally reportable lobbying efforts than any other entity, said Wednesday that Congress “must act” and strike a “big deal” by year’s end to avoid sailing over the fiscal cliff. “The Chamber will employ all the assets of our policy experts, lobbying team and grassroots federation to help Congress and the administration meet this critical responsibility,” Donohue said. [Politico]
For Chamber of Commerce, election was a money-loser The day after an election in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent millions of dollars backing losing Republican candidates, executives began the brutal process of assessing what went wrong at the nation's leading business organization. [Washington Post]
Outside Groups Spent Big, but the Impact Isn't Clear-Cut In Ohio, incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the leading liberal voices in the Senate, faced an onslaught of television advertisements from pro-Republican groups. Two groups—American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—spent a total of more than $10 million against Mr. Brown. The incumbent Democrat prevailed because his own campaign raised more money than his Republican opponent. Mr. Brown raised $22 million for the race, while Republican Josh Mandel brought in $16 million, according to campaign finance records. [Wall Street Journal]
Republicans approach renewed control of House Republican House candidates, the GOP and allies like Karl Rove's American Crossroads political committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent a combined $664 million on House races through October. [Huffington Post]
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.