Washington, D.C. — Following Axios’ reporting this week that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was “withdrawing its support” for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill after House Republican leaders kicked the organization off its ‘strategy calls,’ Neil Bradley — the Chamber’s Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer, and Head of Strategic Advocacy — gave an interview attempting to walk back the report. Bradley insisted the Chamber still supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill but opposed tying its passage to Democrats’ reconciliation package. However, an Accountable.US analysis finds that while the U.S. Chamber claims to take issue with procedural and allegedly partisan components of the reconciliation package, Bradley’s inconsistent excuses expose the Chamber’s real agenda: preventing huge corporations from paying their fair share.
“The U.S. Chamber’s conflicting rhetoric is a desperate attempt to get back in the good graces of Republican House leaders that want to see the popular Biden Build Back Better agenda fail at the expense of working people,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The Chamber may muddy the water, but their position remains crystal clear: they would rather see the bipartisan infrastructure plan fail than see billion-dollar corporations pay a dime more towards their fair share. It’s time Chamber-associated companies that have been calling for investments in the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges demand Chamber leadership get behind the only path to getting the job done: passing BIF along with reconciliation.”
RHETORIC: The U.S. Chamber’s Executive VP criticized the reconciliation bill and its family leave plan as a “partisan attempt” to “foist” legislation through Congress, saying passing legislation “on the strength of one single party’s vote” was the “wrong way to legislate.”
REALITY: In 2017, the U.S. Chamber “applauded” Republican leadership for their corporate tax cut legislation—which was forced through Congress via reconciliation and without a single Democratic vote.
RHETORIC: The U.S. Chamber’s Executive VP said the U.S. Chamber opposes the reconciliation package because it would hurt small businesses and consumers.
REALITY: The Chamber has a history of attacking consumer interests and prioritizing huge corporations over working families and family businesses.
RHETORIC: The U.S. Chamber’s Executive VP defended corporate tax cuts by claiming that “a lot” of companies were purchased by foreign companies in 2017 before tax cuts took effect. He also said corporate tax cuts led to “zero” instances of American companies merging with foreign companies.
REALITY: There were no major foreign purchases of American companies in 2017 thanks to an Obama-era policy, which pre-dated Republican tax cuts.
RHETORIC: The U.S. Chamber’s Executive VP admitted that the Chamber has lobbied Senators Sinema, Manchin, and “others” against Build Back Better.
REALITY: Senators Manchin and Sinema, who have together taken over $1 million from the U.S. Chamber and the corporations whose leaders serve on the Chamber board, oppose the proposed reconciliation package
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