Chamber chief urges bipartisan action on climate, infrastructure

Chamber chief urges bipartisan action on climate, infrastructure
© Greg Nash

Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue pushed the need for bipartisan action on infrastructure, immigration and climate change despite what is shaping up to be a contentious election year.

In the annual State of American Business address, the head of the nation's most influential business advocacy group highlighted a number of issues where he said Congress and President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE should look for common ground.

“The infrastructure deal we desperately need to modernize the physical platform of this economy; The reforms to our immigration system to ensure businesses have the workers they need; Or the 35 bipartisan bills that can help address climate change through innovation and investment,” Donohue said.

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“Does it sound like we can afford to take the year off? Of course not. Inaction is not an option,” he continued.

Increasingly, the influential business advocacy group, which has historically been Republican-leaning, has been moving toward the center in recent years as many of Trump’s priorities have failed to align with the Chamber's agenda.

Donohue said that conventional wisdom held that with an election in November and Trump facing a pending impeachment trial in the Senate there was little room for bipartisan legislating, but he said those expectations could be reversed.

“We need to encourage and support lawmakers who are committed to getting things done and help grow their ranks—on Capitol Hill and in the upcoming elections,” he said.

In his 2019 address, Donohue had announced a new rating system that would focus on bipartisan achievements when the Chamber endorses members of Congress.