The right-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning to endorse nearly two dozen first-term House Democrats for re-election, which has infuriated Republican donors and set off a firestorm within the organization.
The traditionally conservative Chamber has spent more than $100 million on GOP candidates over the past decade, but the group's leaders have been pushing the endorsements ahead of Thursday's committee vote on 2020 endorsements -- even as speakers at the Republican National Convention try to smear Democrats as communists, reported Politico.
"Imagine a world where the evils of communism and radical Islamic terrorism are not given a chance to spread — where heroes are celebrated and the good guys win," said Donald Trump Jr. during his RNC speech. "You can have it."
While the RNC tries to paint their opposition as dangerous communists, the staunchly conservative Chamber is risking a revolt by backing Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), possibly the most vulnerable Democrat in the House.
“I question how the U.S. Chamber could endorse a candidate who consistently voted against the largest industry in Oklahoma, employing over 90,000 workers throughout the state," wrote State Chamber of Oklahoma President Chad Warmington to the national group's leaders. "That is hardly a pro-business record. I am also concerned the U.S. Chamber would endorse a congresswoman that voted in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who are not pro-business nearly 90 percent of the time.”
Despite the state-level opposition and threats from donors, the Chamber's national leadership seems committed to backing Horn and Democratic Reps. Elaine Luria of Virginia, Andy Kim of New Jersey, and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.
The clash is another example of the business community turning against President Donald Trump and the Republican Party he thoroughly dominates, which had counted on the Chamber's endorsements for more than a decade.
,"The Chamber’s board has actively and successfully supported more bipartisanship in Washington since 2016 so we can create jobs and economic prosperity,” said Thomas Wilson, chairman of the Chamber’s executive committee, in a statement. “Our priorities cut across party lines.”