The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is withholding its support for congressional Republicans heading into next year’s campaign.
Corporate chamber members want to distance themselves from President Donald Trump over concerns about alienating consumers, and has tried to rebrand the business group as centrist, reported the Washington Examiner.
The chamber insists that defending the GOP congressional majority remains the group’s top priority next year, but Republicans have complained the business group isn’t being aggressive enough in its support.
“If the chamber isn’t the Republican counter to the AFL-CIO, where are Republicans going to turn for that umbrella support that they need in races?” said Trump surrogate Jack Kingston, a former GOP congressman from Georgia. “Corporations are a little skittish, so therefore the chamber is getting a little skittish.”
The chamber has changed its legislative scorecard to reward bipartisanship, but the group’s chief political strategist Scott Reed insists they still back GOP platforms on taxes, judges and trade.
But GOP operatives say the $100,000 the chamber invested in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District on behalf of Dan Bishop was unimpressive.
“They are unwilling to help the people who cut their taxes when it comes to cultural battles, and all battles are cultural battles now,” said a veteran Republican strategist. “A whole lot of CEOs who are too scared to help their team in cultural battles will deserve every dollar of tax hikes the Democrats give them if they take over.”
“There are a lot of Republicans who don’t understand the direction the chamber has gone,” added another Republican lobbyist.