US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful pro-business lobbying group, said Tuesday it will halt political contributions to certain lawmakers following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
“There are some members that by their actions will have forfeited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Period, full stop,” Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the Chamber, said in a press conference.
The Chamber’s political action committee (PAC) is typically a reliable resource for Republicans.
Bradley said he would not name lawmakers whose support will be pulled. He was questioned specifically on if the group would pull support from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), the first senator to throw his support behind objecting to the electoral vote count.
“We’re right in the middle of this, right now and unfortunately regrettably, it’s not over … we’re in the middle of ongoing votes that will happen in the House and the Senate,” he said.
“All of those things will factor into that and we’re going to have a lot more to say about the members whose actions last week and the actions over the next eight days and beyond will have cost them the Chamber’s support.”
The Chamber’s PAC previously gave $10,000 to Hawley, which Bradley confirmed but said the Chamber has never required someone return a donation.
“We did support him. I have to tell you that watching the events of the last week, we have been terribly concerned and disappointed by what we’ve seen. I will say that while a lot of folks are singling out individual elected officials to focus on, I wouldn’t focus on just the junior senior from Missouri and we are going to have a lot more to say on him and others as we get through this period that we’re in,” he said.
Republican lawmakers last week challenged the results of the presidential election in Arizona and Pennsylvania, two swing states won by President-elect Joe Biden. Though some lawmakers backed off their objections after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, 147 Republicans ultimately voted against the votes in at least one state.
Bradley said that the Chamber looks forward to supporting Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) for demonstrating “that type of commitment to governing and democratic norms and our priorities.”
“It’s also a mistake not to recognize the elected officials who really stood up in very trying and difficult circumstances and we’re going to continue to operate a program that supports them and helps them in our efforts to lead our country,” he said.
When asked what lawmakers would have to do to win back the Chamber’s support, he said he’s not prepared to say “that you have to do x, y and z and not do a, b and c.”
The Chamber joins major companies who said they would stop giving political contributions to members who opposed the election results, including Marriott, Hallmark, Amazon, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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