Will the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Oppose the Texas Voter Suppression Bill, or Will It Continue to Make Excuses?
Watchdog Group Sends Letter to Trade Organization Calling On It To Practice What It Preaches and Condemn SB7 in Texas Following Its Own Position On Partisan Voting Laws
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, government watchdog Accountable.US sent a letter to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calling on it to break its silence and oppose Texas Senate Bill 7 — a sweeping voter suppression bill that would “limit early voting hours, curtail local voting options and further tighten voting by mail.” You can read the full letter HERE.
“Given the U.S. Chamber’s history of supporting voter suppression efforts, its silence on Senate Bill 7 is not surprising. The Chamber wants people to believe it only opposes ‘partisan’ voting rights bills — if that was the case, why isn’t it shouting from the rooftops against Texas’ legislation, which would disenfranchise countless Black and Brown voters?” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The U.S. Chamber has a choice to make: It can either stand by its own public statements against partisan voting rights bills and oppose SB 7, or remain silent and give its member corporations another reason to drop the organization.”
Since Texas Republicans rushed to pass SB 7 and Republicans across the country pushed voter restriction laws, the U.S. Chamber has yet to issue a single public press release or blog post regarding these partisan voting rights attacks. The Chamber’s silence on the issue goes against its own guidelines. Such nakedly partisan voter suppression efforts deserve widespread condemnation, including from the business community. As the largest business trade organization, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should be outspoken in its opposition.
Government watchdog Accountable.US launched its “Drop The Chamber” campaign last month to pressure major corporations including Microsoft, Target, and Salesforce to back up their public statements supporting voting rights with action: severing their relationships with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its well-documented history of funding voter suppression efforts, including its ongoing lobbying assault against H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
Read more about the U.S. Chamber’s history of funding voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts HERE.
THE U.S. CHAMBER’S SILENCE FOLLOWING TEXAS’S VOTER SUPPRESSION BILL WHILE OTHER COMPANIES SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT:
- The U.S. Chamber Didn’t Issue Any Press Releases About Partisan Voter Suppression Bill in Texas As state Republicans “Hurtled” To Pass SB 7 And As Republicans In 14 States Enacted 22 Voter Restriction Laws After The 2020 Election—And The Chamber Only Used Its “Chamber On The Record” Blog To Defend Its Opposition To The For The People Act.
- One Coalition—Including Major Corporations Like HP And Unilever, As Well As Local Chambers Of Commerce—Opposed “‘Any Changes That Would Restrict Eligible Voters’ Access To The Ballot.’” “One letter comes from a group of large corporations, including HP, Microsoft, Unilever, Salesforce, Patagonia and Sodexo, as well as local companies and chambers of commerce, and represents the first major coordinated effort among businesses in Texas to take action against the voting proposals. The letter, under the banner of a new group called Fair Elections Texas, stops short of criticizing the two voting bills that are now advancing through the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature, but opposes ‘any changes that would restrict eligible voters’ access to the ballot.’” [The New York Times, 05/04/21]
- The Other Coalition, Consisting Of Over 100 Houston Business Executives, Directly Criticized SB 7 As “‘Voter Suppression.’” “A separate letter, also released on Tuesday and signed by more than 100 Houston executives, goes further. It directly criticizes the proposed legislation and equates the efforts with ‘voter suppression.’” [The New York Times, 05/04/21]
- In A Letter Opposing The For The People Act, The U.S. Chamber Claimed That “‘Partisan’” Voting Changes “‘Erode Access And Security And Undermine Public Confidence.’” “We oppose H.R.1/S.1 because the Chamber is a long-time defender of the First Amendment. In a letter sent to Senators in April we explained […] ‘Changes enacted on a partisan basis are the most likely to erode access and security and undermine public confidence and the willingness of the American people to trust and accept future election outcomes,’ we said in our letter to Senators.” [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 05/20/21]
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