Once Loved By Republicans, The Chamber Of Commerce Is Under Fire For Cozying Up To Big-Tech

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:00
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has jumped into the political fight over Big Tech — and the group’s staunch opposition to antitrust reform is alienating many Republicans in Congress, The New York Post has revealed in an exclusive investigative report.

While America’s biggest and best-funded business lobby once enlisted Republicans to protect oil and tobacco firms against their Democratic enemies, critics now state that Big Tech funders including Meta, Google, and Amazon are increasingly setting the group’s agenda.

Although the 110-year-old Chamber’s considerable funding — including a $65 million lobbying budget in 2021 — over a half dozen current and former Congressional Republican sources explained to The Post that the group’s influence has nosedived as the group has largely been frozen out of policy discussions since Donald Trump left office.

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“I don’t think the Chamber has much, if any, juice with Republicans now at all,” one House GOP aide explained, according to The Post.

“The Chamber of Commerce takes a lot of money from Big Tech and so they diligently do their bidding,” announced Mike Davis, a former top aide for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). “Today’s Conservatives understand that corporate power is oftentimes even more oppressive than government power.”

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The Chamber enraged the GOP when they backed a slate of moderate Democrats in 2020 and was banned from House Republican strategy calls last year in a spat over infrastructure.

Or, as one Republican lobbyist put it: “The Chamber is in the wilderness.”

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In previous decades, many Republican staffers on Capitol Hill worked closely with the Chamber, usually staffed by their former colleagues.

“The Chamber — it’s a bunch of Republicans who work there — would call up Republican offices and say, ‘Hey, you’re one of us and here’s what the business community thinks should happen,’ ” one senior Senate staffer announced, further stating that Republicans often took “marching orders” from the group.

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That buddy-buddy relationship has frayed as Republicans have soured on Big Tech companies, which many blame for censoring conservatives and unjustly squashing competition.

The Chamber states it represents hundreds of thousands of American businesses, though the group does not disclose how much funding it receives from each member. There is a perception among Republicans that Big Tech companies effectively control the group, backed up by the fact that executives from Meta and Microsoft sit on the Chamber’s board. In March, the Chamber’s government affairs team moved to a Capitol Hill office building further occupied by Google, as first reported by Protocol.

“You know that whatever they’re telling you has been vetted by Google and Facebook and Amazon,” the senior GOP Senate staffer announced.

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