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Politico: US Chamber Targeting House GOP Opposed to Its Agenda

By    |   Friday, 24 July 2015 11:47 AM

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is preparing for "hand-to-hand political combat" to unseat conservative House Republicans who are getting in the way of the organization’s agenda, Politico reports.

After shelling out $70 million in the 2014 election cycle, the Chamber is irked by "a clutch" of politicians on the right who have presented a stumbling block to its legislative priorities such as immigration reform, a long-term highway bill, and the renewal of the Export-Import Bank, according to Politico.

Though a handful of GOP sources on K Street and Capitol Hill told Politico that several races are under consideration, no decisions have been finalized.

Chamber spokeswoman Blair Holmes maintains that the organization favors pro-business candidates regardless of their political party or status as an incumbent or a challenger, though Politico notes that, historically, the Chamber has largely stayed away from targeting sitting lawmakers.

Holmes told the news website that the organization had great success in the 2014 primaries — 14 of the 15 candidates it backed won — and it intends to follow the same script this time around.

In December, Breitbart News reported that on the heels of Republicans’ sweeping victory in 2014, the Chamber began "threatening" to challenge Republicans who did not promote its agenda.

Steve Caldeira, a member of the Chamber’s public affairs committee and the president and CEO of the International Franchise Association, defended the Chamber’s strategy.

"The fact that there are still members of the Republican House that are obstructionist, isolationists that would be willing to shut down the government down only reinforces that the Chamber and the business community, for that matter, will double down on this winning formula," he told Politico.

"I believe they are going to continue to be involved early in candidate recruitment to find candidates that have the willingness to run, the courage to govern once they get to D.C. and hopefully work in a bipartisan manner to get things done."

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is preparing for "hand-to-hand political combat" to unseat conservative House Republicans who are getting in the way of the organization's agenda, Politico reports.
us chamber, commerce, house, gop, export-import, highway
Friday, 24 July 2015 11:47 AM
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