Lobbyists fail to garner GOP support for infrastructure bill

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As Democrats continue to battle within their party over the price tag of the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” package, major business groups are failing to garner support among House Republicans to pass the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

While some House Republicans have voiced support for the bill, every major business group in Washington, DC, has urged Republicans to get on board, according to The Hill.

The chief of staff to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) rebuked the US Chamber of Commerce, adding that he wouldn’t take a meeting with the lobbying group, according to the outlet.

“People care what their local Chambers of Commerce and business owners have to say, not the US Chamber,” Brett Horton said. “If the US Chamber sent me a meeting request right now, I wouldn’t even staff that meeting out to an intern, and I don’t see that changing.” 

The Chamber has also received attacks from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.), who has said the group “sold out” last year when it endorsed almost 24 House Democrats. McCarthy was adamant that he didn’t want their endorsement. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the US Chamber of Commerce “sold out” last year when it endorsed almost 24 House Democrats.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/S

Recently, McCarthy has said the group is no longer a GOP ally, telling Punchbowl News that if Republicans win the House in 2022, the Chamber won’t have any influence anymore. 

“I didn’t even know the Chamber was around anymore,” he said. 

While urging Congress to vote against the $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” package, the Chamber has urged House Republicans to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, despite GOP concerns over the two pieces of legislation being linked. 

“While the Chamber believes that passing infrastructure as a stand-alone bill prior to consideration of the reconciliation bill would have enhanced our position, that is no longer a realistic possibility,” Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the Chamber, wrote in a Monday memo obtained by The Hill.

The Chamber, along with other business groups, has argued that by passing the infrastructure bill, Republicans would have more leverage to vote the massive spending bill down. 

Neil Bradley, Chief Policy officer for the U.S Chamber of Commerce
Neil Bradley is the vice president and chief policy officer for the US Chamber of Commerce.
Getty Images for Yahoo Finance

House Republicans are also at odds with other major business groups including the Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers. 

Earlier this year, several major businesses stopped PAC donations to 147 House Republicans, including McCarthy and Scalise, after they objected to the 2020 Electoral College results.

As part of an investigation into the Capitol riot, several phone companies and social media platforms have been asked to turn over private records to the House Select Committee. 

McCarthy has said a Republican House majority “will not forget” if they do. 

For businesses and companies that boycotted Georgia earlier this year over strict voting restrictions implemented by Republicans, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, vowed a “day of reckoning.” 

Major business groups have acknowledged the growing split between them and the GOP, noting that the Republican Party is now “redefined.” 

“The Republican Party has redefined itself on the fly here during the last five years, and it no longer shares as much common ground with the business community as it once did,” said Doug Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council.



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