Some of America’s most prominent corporations infuriated Republicans in Congress earlier this month when they protested a Georgia law setting state voting rules. The longtime alliance between the GOP and business seemed on the verge of cracking up. But when it comes to Democrats’ priority bills in Congress, the old allies are still on the same side.
Indeed, corporate America is joining Republicans in opposing both the House-passed voting rights measure, or HR 1, that is Democrats’ answer to the Georgia law, as well as President Joe Biden’s pending infrastructure bill.
While the spat over the Georgia law embarrassed Republicans, business has not joined Democrats in their proposed solution to that law’s election strictures — the voting rights, campaign finance and ethics bill, known as S 1 in the Senate, that Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer called a “must do” on April 13.
The same day, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, business’s most prominent advocate in Washington, announced that it “strongly opposes” the Democrats’ bill and that it was considering counting votes in favor of it against lawmakers in the group’s annual scorecard. Specifically, Jack Howard, the chamber’s senior vice president of government affairs, in a letter to senators said the bill would impose unacceptable new regulations on companies engaging in electioneering and even lobbying.
Howard echoed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s complaints that the bill would turn the bipartisan Federal Election Commission into a body run by the party of the president, and about a provision that would match small-dollar contributions sixfold with public funds.