U.S. Chamber echoes anti-business attacks on Obama, Democrats
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
is blasting the Obama administration and congressional Democrats for policies
it says are expanding government and hindering an economic recovery.
The powerful business lobby
group said Democrats and the White House have “neglected America’s number one
priority” — creating jobs.
“Instead of continuing their
partnership with the business community and embracing proven ideas for job
creation, they vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised course of
government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits, and job-destroying
regulations,” the chamber wrote in an open letter to President Obama and
The chamber’s broadside comes
after weeks of Republican attacks on the Obama administration for being “anti-business.”
Both the chamber and GOP leaders in Congress have criticized the Democrats’
Wall Street reform package as another round of new regulations on top of the
healthcare reform law that will add red tape and uncertainty for the private
sector in the midst of a tepid recovery. The chamber is reportedly planning to spend $75
million in congressional midterm campaigns to go after Democrats and
they don’t like.
The chamber will continue
their press for more business-friendly policies on Wednesday during a jobs
summit with both Democratic and GOP lawmakers.
Obama has pushed back against
suggestions that his policies have hurt the private sector, pointing to tax
cuts included in the $862 billion stimulus, which was supported by the chamber.
White House officials touted the job creation effects of the stimulus Wednesday,
releasing a report suggesting the tax cut and spending package increased
employment by roughly 3 million jobs since it was enacted early last year.
The chamber, however, is now
casting its lot with Republicans. They called on Congress to pass a number of
measures championed by GOP leaders, including an extension of all of the
Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, including those for
people making more than $200,000. Democrats and the White House have pledged to
extend only those for people making less than that amount.
The business group also
called on Congress to cut the corporate tax rate, reduce the deficit through
entitlement reforms and spending cuts, pass pending free-trade agreements and
allow more oil-and-gas drilling.
“Government’s role is to establish the right conditions in which
the private sector can do what it does best — foster economic growth, create
innovative products and services, generate wealth, and, in the process, produce
expanded revenues to educate our children, care for the sick and poor, and
defend our nation,” the chamber wrote.
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