Heritage attacks 'friends of big business'

Another shot has been fired in the war between business and conservative groups — this time by the Heritage Foundation.

On Thursday, Genevieve Wood, a senior contributor to The Foundry, the conservative think tank's blog, aired a litany of complaints against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other prominent trade associations.

“Increasingly, the Chamber and the Business Roundtable are proving to be friends first of big business, not struggling American workers or would-be entrepreneurs. From the Gang of Eight Amnesty bill to the failed stimulus, to subsidies for Solyndra-style green energy programs, the Chamber and others in the business lobbying community increasingly support legislation that does those very things,” Wood wrote.

Wood questioned the wisdom behind businesses' support for immigration reform, President Obama’s stimulus package, an Internet sales tax bill and reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter.

“A good example is the Export-Import Bank which gives taxpayer-subsidized loans to U.S. exporters — you might call it a ‘Fannie Mae for exporters,’ ” Wood wrote.

“When President Obama reauthorized Ex-Im in 2013, [the National Association of Manufacturers] cheered that ‘small and medium sized manufacturers will greatly benefit…’ Yes, small manufacturers like Boeing and General Electric."

There has been no love lost between Heritage and business groups since the government shutdown, which exposed the rift between business allies of the GOP and the conservative grass roots.

Business groups brushed off the criticism from Heritage and said they have more pressing issues to deal with.

"We don't have a reaction. We're focused on the important work ahead," said Blair Latoff Holmes, a Chamber spokeswoman.

In the blog post, the Heritage official also charged that business groups are no longer working to repeal the Affordable Care Act but are instead trying to manage the law’s new rules.

“What about one of the largest invasions into the private sector in the country’s history, the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare? Who is fighting the good fight there? The Business Roundtable? The Chamber? No, if recent statements by the heads of both are any indicator, they have given up,” Wood wrote.

Heritage and other conservative-leaning groups have taken their knocks from GOP leaders in Congress.

In December, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said organizations like Heritage Action had “lost all credibility” after opposing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-Wash.) budget proposal before it was released.

That move won plaudits from business groups, who cheered Boehner. 

The schism between business and conservative groups is now playing out on the campaign trail, with both sides putting money behind their chosen candidates in several Republican primaries.