Business & Lobbying

Chamber of Commerce president: ‘Meaningful legislative accomplishments’ possible in divided Congress

FILE – In an Aug. 4, 2009, file photo the United States Chamber of Commerce building is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said “meaningful legislative accomplishments” are possible in a divided Congress next session and called on members of both parties to move past partisanship to address the top issues facing the country.

Suzanne Clark, the president and CEO, said in a post on Tuesday that voters sent a “clear message” in the midterm elections earlier this month that the economy and inflation are their top priorities, and lawmakers should commit to “real solutions” for the next Congress.

“Meaningful legislative accomplishments are within reach if we focus on what can and needs to be done,” Clark said.

She said the chamber is ready to work with all members of Congress to get inflation under control, address the threat of crime on businesses, reduce “regulatory overreach” and ensure the United States remains competitive. 

She said with Democrats holding the White House and narrowly controlling the Senate and Republicans narrowly controlling the House, both parties must move past the partisanship of the campaign season to focus on the economic challenges voters made clear. 

“New and returning members of Congress and leaders across the business community must work together to confront these challenges for the American people,” Clark said. 

She said the next Congress can have accomplishments despite expected partisan gridlock, as they have happened before during divided government. 

Clark said Republicans won the House in the 2010 midterms while Democrats controlled the House and Senate, but Congress approved trade deals with multiple countries and approved major economic legislation. 

She said when Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms and Republicans held the White House and Senate, Congress passed reforms to the Internal Revenue Service and ratified the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

“To achieve similar progress over the next two years, we must prioritize legislation that stands a realistic chance of passing and, crucially, will help stabilize our economy and tame inflation,” Clark said. 

She said the chamber is launching a “Calling on Congress” series to highlight priorities Congress should address, like a workforce shortage issue and strengthening of the country’s energy security.

Tags 2022 midterms bipartisanship divided government gridlock Internal Revenue Service Partisanship Suzanne Clark Suzanne Clark U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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