Chamber of Commerce talks peace with Senate Dems as McConnell's majority teeters

Chamber of Commerce talks peace with Senate Dems as McConnell's majority teeters

The utterances come with Democrats leading Republican senators in elections in several key states – and with the pro-business, traditionally conservative chamber facing a precarious moment.

The group has argued with President Donald Trump over issues such as trade and immigration and is now facing an internal uprising over their decision to support a list of vulnerable House Democrats for re-election. The move represented a big change for the Chamber, which has long endorsed and funded Republican candidates and has supported few Democrats in recent years. 2014 the political director of the chamber explained Making McConnell the majority leader was the group’s “number one priority”.

The organization has aired commercials supporting several Senate GOP candidates in this election. But the outfit has scaled back its electoral spending this year, investing a fraction of what it used for the majority of the GOP six years ago.

“It is always an all-hands-on-deck strategy to work with members of Congress to advance our members’ priorities,” a chamber spokesman said in a statement. “Our first priority is to keep a growth-enhancing Senate majority and we only have our money for these races.”

After the Democrats took control of the house in 2018, the chamber signaled plans for a more bipartisan approach. But senior GOP officials have opposed the lobby group following their Democratic endorsements, and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said he no longer wanted the chamber’s support.

Trump reached out to Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue last week to complain about the endorsement, a conversation first reported Axios.

Howard, who had previously worked for a number of top Republicans in Congress, including ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, warned that the Chamber should not assume that “the progress we are making Have made this year with the House Democrats continue this year to the Senate. ”

However, the Chamber’s network of local partners has given her “an important strategic advantage … that many groups do not have,” added
“We should reach out to many of these offices through our local chamber partners, particularly on the Senate side, to see if we can transfer this goodwill to a working relationship in Washington.”


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