United States Chamber of Commerce

GOP, crony allies plan efforts to undermine conservatives

The Wall Street Journal ran a story on Christmas which explained in detail how Republican leaders and the United States Chamber of Commerce are looking to diminish the influence of conservatives both in and outside of Congress. This gives us a glimpse at the latest battle, if you will, in the ongoing Republican civil war.

You may remember that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) lashed out at conservative groups that opposed the budget deal brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). It turns out, though unsurprisingly, that this public admonition of conservatives was just scratched the surface. It turns out, as the Journal explained, that Republican leaders were threatening members with loss of committee assignments if they voted against the budget deal:

Mr. Boehner’s deputies took steps behind the scenes to end internal dissent, including among GOP committee chairmen who had voted against the House leadership in prior fiscal battles. In the run-up to the budget vote, Mr. Boehner’s deputies warned chairmen who were tempted to oppose the deal that doing so could jeopardize their committee posts, said people familiar with the discussions.

The goal was to reverse a trend in which chairmen, who typically earn their post by hewing to the party line, voted against priority legislation. Six chairmen had voted against an initial version of a farm bill earlier in the year, causing the legislation to collapse on the House floor, and 11 voted against the pact this fall to reopen the federal government and extend the country’s borrowing authority into 2014.

Obama believes regulations are good…

…and in breaking news, the sky is blue!  President Obama, speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce, tried to put forth the idea that regulations are a good thing.

From the Fox News report:

Speaking on matters that concern the business community with which the president has had a rocky relationship, Obama said, “The perils of too much regulation are matched by the dangers of too little.”

But, he said, regulations also serve a purpose.

“Already we’re dramatically cutting down on the paperwork that saddles businesses with huge administrative costs,” he said. “But ultimately, winning the future is not just about what the government can do to help you succeed. It’s about what you can do to help America succeed.”

He added, “We cannot go back to the kind of economy — and culture — we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

The president took the opportunity to defend two of his primary legislative achievements — a Wall Street banking bill and health insurance reform.

“I know you have concerns about this law,” he said of the health law. “But the nonpartisan congressional watchdogs at the CBO estimate that health care tax credits will be worth nearly $40 billion for small businesses over the next decade.”

Of course, he neglects to point out that the “nonpartisan congressional watchdogs at the CBO” are hamstrung in how they can figure up their numbers, so you can trust what they say about as much as you can trust Paris Hilton to score perfect on the SAT.

McConnell: “We’re Not Going to be Voting for Anymore Tax Increases”

Mitch McConnell

It’s clear that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats will continue to push tax hikes on hard-working Americans. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is throwing coldwater on their plans.

President Obama managed to get higher taxes rates on Americans earning more than $400,000 per year, which hit many small businesses. But in an interview with FreeEnterprise.com, the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, McConnell stated very pointedly that there will be no more votes on tax hikes in the Senate.

“[At] the end of [last] year, and unfortunately, a lot of small businesses already got a tax increase,” McConnell noted to FreeEnterprise.com. “S-Corps and LLCs were hit with a tax increase from 35% to 39.5%. That’s more than enough. They shouldn’t have gotten that in the first place, and we’re not going to be voting for anymore tax increases.”

McConnell also noted that the Obama Administration is trying to “create a nanny state” with ObamaCare. Noting the 7-foot tall, 20,000-page stack of regulations that have come with the healthcare law, McConnell said, “It’s no wonder we’re having a tepid growth-rate, the government itself is responsible for this slow recovery we’ve had after a big recession.

The Chamber of Commerce Boogeyman

Despite the rhetoric of the Obama Administration and Democrats claiming that the United States Chamber of Commerce doesn’t disclose contributions, Americans for Limited Government has located FEC disclosures from the PACs registered to the organization:

Obama’s statement is actually provably false. You see, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce actually operates a political action committee, which is required to file reports with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

You can read the U.S. Chamber PAC’s filings for yourself at http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs/?_10+C00082040.

Additionally, the PAC’s “secret” donor lists are at http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_ind/2009_C00082040 and http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_rcvd/2009_C00082040. These are all FEC filings. PAC’s are already required to disclose donors under federal law.

In fact, this is a part of the Chamber that is expressly engaged in electioneering, subject to full disclosure. Here are the PAC’s expenditures, all public for the world to see: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_supopp/2009_C00082040.

While it is true that the Chamber’s 501(c)6 filings are not public, that does not mean such disclosures do not exist. Many of them actually should already be available to the Obama Administration. How?

Obama’s false attack on the Chamber of Commerce

Recently, President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have been slamming the United States Chamber of Commerce for spending money on ads in the mid-term election, money they contend is coming from foreign source, which is illegal. The problem with the accusation is that it’s false. The New York Times notes:

[A] closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents.

In fact, the controversy over the Chamber of Commerce financing may say more about the Washington spin cycle — where an Internet blog posting can be quickly picked up by like-minded groups and become political fodder for the president himself — than it does about the vagaries of campaign finance.

The spin from the Obama Administration is that the president is just trying to “draw attention to the inadequacies of campaign disclosure laws.” The DISCLOSE Act, which was shot down in the Senate (twice), would have required PACs and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce to produce their donor lists. That legislation was also an assault on free speech.

Over at RedState, Erick Erickson writes:

1099 repeal coming back in the House

Democrats are going to bring a repeal of the 1099 provision of ObamaCare back to the floor for the third time, but they will continue to play games with it:

Senate Democrats voted down a Republican plan to repeal the provision Tuesday — the same day that Senate Republicans voted down a Democratic plan to repeal the measure.

Now Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are considering a new push to repeal the provision, and a floor vote could come as soon as next week. But their plan, like all of the others, comes with strings attached that will make it virtually impossible for the other party to sign on.

The provision in question requires any business that spends more than $600 with a particular vendor to report the expenditure on a 1099 tax form. Lawmakers from both parties say that it’s too onerous and would bury businesses — particularly small ones — in a sea of unnecessary paperwork.

The provision is opposed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Obama Administration and several members of Congress in tough re-election bids support removing nixing this job killer.

Repeal of 1099 provision fails again

For those of you that don’t remember or don’t know, the health care reform contains an onerous provision that requires businesses to file 1099 forms for expenditures totaling over $600 in a year. The provision is opposed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Obama Administration and several members of Congress in tough re-election bids support removing nixing this job killer.

Congress had a second chance to repeal the provision that is part of ObamaCare, and for the second time, they failed. When it first came up in the House, Democrats decided to play games by putting repeal of the requirement in a bill containing tax hikes. Yesterday in the Senate, Democrats did the exact same thing, this time putting the provision in an amendment with a tax hike on oil companies, which would hurt states like Louisiana that depend on that industry for jobs, in the president’s latest gimmick to “create jobs.” You can see how your Senators voted here.

Cartoon of the Day: Drowning in 1099s

Here is a funny political cartoon by William Warren on the 1099 provision in ObamaCare, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) have been working, but so far unsuccessfully, to repeal.


H/T: Dan Mitchell

US Chamber, Republicans working to eliminate 1099 provision in ObamaCare

We told you last week about a provision in ObamaCare that will bring a huge burden on small business owners by requiring them 1099 expenditures over $600 a year. The United States Chamber of Commerce and some Republicans are making efforts to repeal this ridiculous requirement:

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) this week continued his push to eliminate a controversial tax-reporting provision of the new healthcare reform law, vowing to offer his repeal bill at every turn.

“I will file this amendment on every viable vehicle that comes to the Senate floor,” Johanns said Monday at a healthcare forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Sooner or later, we’ll get a vote and we’ll see who stands with our job creators and who does not.”

Under the Democrats’ new healthcare reform bill, companies, nonprofits and government offices are required to file 1099 forms with the IRS when goods purchased from another business exceed $600 in a year. Under previous law, the reporting requirement pertained only to services exceeding that amount.
Conservatives on Capitol Hill have joined many in the business community in slamming the provision, arguing that it will hobble small businesses with onerous new paperwork mandates amid a fragile economy when the resources would be better spent hiring new workers.

“The most routine business expenses will be subject to this new burdensome paper trail,” Johanns said Monday. “This mandate has nothing to do with improving the healthcare of this country and should not be part of this law or any other.”

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