U.S. Chamber backs Manchin, Sinema with campaign contributions

FILE PHOTO: Bipartisan members of the Senate and House announce coronavirus relief legislation framework at news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) removes his mask to speak as bipartisan members of the Senate and House gather to announce a framework for fresh coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legislation at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

April 15, 2021

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it is backing Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema with campaign contributions, rewarding them for their opposition to some of President Joe Biden’s legislative initiatives and for trying to work with Republicans.

In disclosures made public on Thursday, the Chamber said its political action committee during the first quarter made about $17,000 worth of contributions to the two senators and nine house members. These included Carlos Gimenez of Florida and Steve Chabot of Ohio, two Republican congressmen who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results after attacks on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

After the U.S. Capitol incident, the largest U.S. business lobbying group said it would evaluate members on the “totality” of their actions, including working in a bipartisan manner.

“The U.S. Chamber supports elected officials based on their position on issues important to the business community and their commitment to governing,” a Chamber spokesperson said. “This quarter we were pleased to support Republicans and Democrat members who have demonstrated a willingness to do the hard work of coming together and finding solutions to the problems facing our country.”

Manchin and Sinema are opposed to ending the Senate’s filibuster https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-filibuster-explainer/what-is-the-u-s-senate-filibuster-and-why-is-everyone-talking-about-it-idUSKBN2B921T, a custom that requires a 60-vote majority to advance most legislation. The Chamber also has called for preserving the filibuster to require Democrats, who control a single-vote Senate majority, to seek support from Republicans on major non-budgetary initiatives.

The Chamber also supported two Republican House members who voted in favor of impeaching Trump in January, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and freshman Peter Meijer of Michigan. Both are facing primary challenges for 2022 elections.

The Chamber also said it made contributions to pro-trade Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar and Republican House members Dan Crenshaw, Don Bacon, and freshmen Nancy Mace and Young Kim.

(Reporting by David Lawder. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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