The Chamber of Commerce Flew too Close to the Sun

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

I regret to inform you that the Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party are on shaky ground.  That news came after House GOP leadership kicked the organization off a strategy call regarding the ongoing legislative chaos.

The reasoning here appears to be that the Chamber got upset that House Republicans whipped against the bipartisan infrastructure bill. When an argument presumably ensued, they were then removed from the call, representing the starkest break yet in the formerly strong relationship. Of course, GOP members in the House have every right to oppose $1.2 trillion in spending during an inflationary boom, even if it’s as a political tactic to stop the reconciliation bill.

There’s a big disconnect here that is apparently too nuanced, despite having no nuance, for the Chamber to understand. You see, when you work to elect Democrats, as they did in 2020, you get Democrat policies. But the Chamber wants to have its cake and eat it, too. They want to throw money at the left during elections, helping bolster Nancy Pelosi’s majority, while at the same time getting to dictate to Republicans what they do or don’t do in the House. That’s not how any of this works.

The infrastructure bill represents a major payoff to many big business interests that the Chamber supports. They want it to pass because they feel it will benefit them. The tension came when House Republicans decided to be politically savvy enough to not hand Joe Biden a win and to instead let Democrats eat themselves over reconciliation.

Frankly, I think many Republicans are tired of the Chamber playing both sides. Do they want to support the only pro-business party in town that wins elections? Or would they like to continue playing footsy with the woke wing in a gambit to bolster their public standing? Because they don’t get to do both, and that’s what happened with them getting kicked off this call. Republicans are tired of being dictated to by an organization that has continually spit in their faces.

Perhaps the Chamber is realizing that, though? After being shunned, they’ve now come out against the infrastructure package in the House, seemingly falling in line with the GOP gambit.

If this represents a shift or at least a realization of where their bread is buttered, that’s a good sign, I suppose. Still, I do not wish for the GOP to return to being the Chamber’s puppet. They flew too close to the sun, and I’ve got no problem letting them fall down to earth. I get the feeling they haven’t really learned their lesson yet.