Chamber of Commerce fundraising surged despite GOP criticism
During restoration of the Headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Chamber of Commerce seal, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
This year, the biggest business lobbying organization in the world witnessed a surge in fundraising despite opposition from normally sympathetic Republican leaders.
According to CNBC’s new 990 tax form, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has raised more than $215 million for 2020. This is an increase of approximately $60 million over previous years. Officially, the group is a nonprofit 501(c), and doesn’t publicly reveal names of donors.
The document also shows that chamber executives saw an additional windfall. Tom Donohue was the last year of his tenure as the head of the group’s Chamber. He made $7 million in 2020. The amount also included incentives and bonuses worth more than $5.9 million.
Donohue is said to have made more than $6 million a year earlier.Suzanne Clark became the CEO earlier this yearAs the president of the group, he earned over $4million in 2020. This includes over $3 million in incentives and bonuses.
According to the data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, they spent more than $80 million lobbying in just one year. At the close of the year, their net assets were more than $30 million.
When CNBC asked for follow up questions, a spokesperson from the Chamber of Commerce pointed CNBC to the filing number 990.
Chamber promotes pro-business policies. A separate committee for political action contributed to Republicans as well as Democrats. The Chamber of Commerce often supported policies that were aligned to Republicans’ or more conservative Democratic lawmakers, like not raising taxes or eliminating trade tariffs.
This group was endorsed the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure billBiden signed the bill last month, but continues to fight against the $1 trillion Social Spending package. It has not yet been approved by Congress.
In 2020, Republican leaders attacked the Chamber for supporting a group of House Democrats iThe buildup up to the last election.
Kevin McCarthy, R.-Calif. House Minority Leader, has criticized the group in an interview on Fox Business last year.
McCarthy stated, “I don’t need the U.S. Chamber endorsement because they’ve sold out.” said at the time.It is hypocrisy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to endorse Democrats who are part of the socialist agenda driving this country out and fighting the president.
The Senate majority leader at the time, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, made a snide comment about the group.
“Honestly, at this stage, I believe they are so confused about their purpose that it doesn’t matter much.” McConnell said.
Since then the chamber has welcomed a number of seniors. leaders leave the organization. Charles Schwab, the corporate giant, has left the Chamber of Commerce in protest at its decision to close the political action committee following the Capitol Hill riots on Jan. 6.
Donohue attacked former President Donald Trump for his role in the rise to violence.
“The conduct of the president last week was completely unacceptable and totally inexcusable. He has undermined democratic ideals and institutions by his actions and words.” Donohue said in January.
Trump and Chamber had fought heads in the past, especially about the tariffs at the time. In 2019Trump called the network after an official from the Chamber spoke against CNBC’s use of tariffs. He also attacked the Chamber’s position on trade.