Chamber of Commerce pressures lawmakers to back GOP budget

Chamber of Commerce pressures lawmakers to back GOP budget
© Camille Fine
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a right-leaning business lobby, is turning up the pressure on lawmakers to vote for the House Budget Resolution, a key step in the tax reform process.
 
"Make no mistake, the consequences are great. Failing to pass an FY18 budget would extinguish this once-in-a-generation opportunity to simplify the arcane tax code and thereby help families who are struggling to make ends meet, help employers create jobs, increase American competitiveness, and foster strong, sustained economic growth," Suzanne Clark, the Chamber's senior executive vice president for government affairs, wrote in a letter to House members Monday.
 
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The letter said the budget vote would be recorded on the Chamber's annual scorecard, measuring which members of Congress have voted for and against the Chamber's agenda on issues of note. 
 
The budget, which is scheduled for a floor vote Thursday, will unlock the process Republicans want to use to pass tax reform without fear of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. 
 
Republican leadership delayed bringing the resolution to a vote for weeks due to objections from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who said they wanted more details on the tax plan before they would sign off. 
 
When the GOP leadership unveiled a more detailed proposal for taxes last week, most of the members dropped their opposition.