The largest lobbying group in Washington, D.C., has experienced slowdowns in revenue and lobbying spending because of, among other reasons, animosity from the Trump administration, according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been on the rocks with President Donald Trump ever since his campaign when it accused him of not knowing anything about trade.
The Journal told a story dating back to Trump’s transition period. Following a round of golf with Tiger Woods, Trump was approached by Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue. Trump refused to shake his hand and said, “You guys did everything to stop me. I haven’t forgotten.”
During a White House meeting after the 2017 inauguration, Trump called Donohue the “chamber guy” with a group of people in the room.
Data published by the Journal shows the Chamber’s overall revenue has fallen since 2014, which has impacted its lobbying efforts. After spending nearly $150 million in 2009, the group spent just under $100 million in 2018.
Further complicating the matter is the fact the Chamber has historically aligned itself with Republicans, leaving Democrats on the outside looking in.
“I feel they are not much of a force anymore,” Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., told the Journal. “I believe in free markets and am against cronyism and corporate welfare, and they support those things.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The chamber dug themselves into a deep, deep hole when they decided to become an arm of the Republican Party and even oppose moderate Democrats.”
Last summer, the Chamber of Commerce criticized Trump for the trade disputes he launched with other countries, all in the name of trying to make trade fair for everyone.
“The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve,” Donohue said. “We should seek free and fair trade, but this is just not the way to do it.”
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