US Chamber of Commerce to Challenge Tea Party in GOP Primaries

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 07:23 PM

By Greg Richter

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is likely to fight tea party Republicans in primary elections in 2014, says the group's CEO, Tom Donohue.

Donohue said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto"  that while he admires the founding principles of the tea party, his group is not so fond of tactics that led to a partial government shutdown in October.

The Chamber's first foray into the intraparty GOP voting was in November.  It backed GOP establishment candidate Bradley Byrne over self-proclaimed tea party candidate Dean Young. Byrne beat Young and faces a Democrat on Dec. 17.

Donohue said the Chamber wants to find electable candidates who also can govern.

"I think the people that want to go in, don't pay our debts, close down the government, destroy our institutions, are not what this country needs," he said.

The group has said it did not approve of tea party members of the Senate such as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee who balked at passing a budget without a provision that would defund Obamacare. The government was shut down for 16 days.

On the subject of Obamacare, Donohue said the law will not be repealed as long as President Barack Obama is in office, so the focus should be on fixing it and delaying some parts of it.

Some companies are likely to begin moving their employees onto government exchanges intially, Donohue predicted, but he believes that as weaknesses begin to show up in the program, they'll turn back to offering their own plans as a means of recruitment and retention.

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