Thomas J. Donohue, president of the chamber, met this afternoon with White House aides, said Sally-Shannon Birkel, a spokeswoman for the chamber. The invitation to talk came after Donohue said his organization had been shut out of Obama’s fiscal cliff discussions.[San Francisco Chronicle]
The Republican National Committee has turned to Twitter regularly to talk about the impact of tax increases on small businesses, using the hashtag #StopTheTaxHike. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has begun a multimedia campaign that it says is intended to prevent a financial disaster if Congress and the president do not reach an agreement. The chamber’s site has a “Fiscal Cliff Countdown” clock, a calculator to determine “your post-taxmageddon taxes” and links to e-mail members of Congress. [CNBC]
The chamber, which spent at least $50 million on political advertising backing Republican candidates who opposed Obama, is a bystander in the debate over Washington’s most critical post- election issue. It is being supplanted by other business groups such as Fix the Debt and the Partnership for New York City. [Bloomberg]
Businesses want Washington to increase the U.S. debt limit as part of a package to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” thus averting two crises in one go. “The downside risk here is significant if we don’t include it,” said Rob Nichols, president and chief executive officer of the Financial Services Forum; “It’s very sensible to include that, so we don’t roil the global capital markets any further.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobby, agrees. While not explicitly demanding a debt-limit hike be part of fiscal-cliff talks, it says it's the perfect place to do just that.[The Hill]
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]