McCarthy to U.S. Chamber: Of course you realize, this means war

Source: Hot Air

Oh, my, gosh. I am enjoying Kevin McCarthy’s short rule as Speaker so much more than I ever thought I would! He has been the best, most delightful surprise so far and I am praying he keeps this up.

This latest stand of his is a perfect example. To be fair, McCarthy was warning the Chamber they were in his black books long before his agonizing marathon election to Speaker took place.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is telling U.S. Chamber of Commerce board members and state leaders the organization must undertake a complete leadership change and replace current president and CEO Suzanne Clark, Axios has learned.

And what exactly did the Chamber, long considered to be almost an arm of the Republican Party, do to so antagonize the incoming House leadership?


The conflict stems from an August 2020 decision by the chamber, once seen as a functional campaign appendage of the Republican Party, to endorse 23 Democratic freshmen for re-election. Fifteen of those lawmakers won, putting the speakership out of reach for McCarthy at the time.

It appears to have permanently soured the relationship. Other Republicans have criticized what they see as a progressive turn by the business-friendly group.

“You see the U.S. Chamber endorsing a lot of these Democrats who voted for all of this anti-business policy,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said on an Arizona radio show last month, referring to some of President Biden’s signature legislation.

“I’m a pro-business guy. I thought y’all used to represent small businesses across America,” Scalise said. “Unfortunately, they’ve kind of veered away from that. We’re trying to try to get them to come back to their roots.”

That’s not the way to make friends and keep your influence over people.

Of course, they are awfully cozy with Mitch McConnell, so perhaps that’s where they got confused that endorsing Democrats, being pro-immigration and woke were the “in” things to be.

They are not.

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The Chamber was confident enough this fall to blow McCarthy off even to the point of having their media toadies carry water for them into the PR battle.

The Business Lobby Doesn’t Need Kevin McCarthy
The probable next speaker of the House is openly feuding with the US Chamber of Commerce, but it has other allies in Congress.

SPEAKER? We don’t need no stinking SPEAKER!

Part of the problem is that the Chamber hasn’t kept up with current events and the dynamic shift in, especially, the House GOP and where they are laser-focused. The House GOP’s outreach and appeal are more homegrown pizza parlor chain than the Sheldon Whitehouse country club set, making the Republican Party a much bigger tent than it used to be.

The rift comes as Republicans, starting with the tea party movement more than a decade ago and then under former President Donald Trump, have taken a more populist, less corporate-friendly tack, appealing to working-class voters oftentimes at the expense of policy positions preferred by old-school, country club GOPers.

It appears the Chamber has badly misjudged McCarthy and Scalise’s resolve – and their own missteps – and the animus has not subsided with the passing of the election and settling of the speakership, as perhaps the Chamber thought would happen.

This is not your Uncle John Boehner’s Kindly Congress, and the two Republican House leaders aren’t playing, period.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) both have refused to meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to the organization’s endorsement of Democrats.

In a statement to CNBC on Monday, Mark Bednar, a chief spokesman for McCarthy, said the priorities of the organization no longer align with the Republican Party.

“The priorities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have not aligned with the priorities of House Republicans or the interests of their own members, and they should not expect a meeting with Speaker McCarthy as long as that’s the case,” Bednar said.

Lauren Fine, the spokeswoman for Steve Scalise, reiterated the same sentiment.

“Washington has radically shifted away from the pro-business philosophy of most local Chambers across America,” Fine said. “Unless the Chamber gets back to their traditional pro-business roots, they should not expect to have any engagement with Majority Leader Scalise’s office.

According to CNBC, House Republicans may investigate the Chamber and have begun drafting questions to ask regarding its stance on the Biden administration’s push for environmental regulations in the name of climate change:

That report dovetails nicely with what Axios reported this past November:

The bottom line: Republicans in Congress are prepared to go to war with the business community, once the cornerstone of their coalition, for what many in their ranks view as an unforgivable shift: Focusing less on profit and more on politics.

Fortune 500 companies are already hiring white shoe law firms to help prepare executives for hearings.

Oh, yes.

Man. I love the cut of McCarthy’s jib.

So dang unexpected.

Keep it going.