Landrieu and the Chamber: Will They or Won’t They?

There have been recent rumblings around Capitol Hill that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning to throw its support behind Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, with a representative saying that she supports pro-business legislation more often than Sen. Ted Cruz.

If there was any doubt about the true political allegiance of the Chamber, this move, provided they follow through with it, should dispel them all. The Chamber has a long history of supporting establishment candidates who will play ball with lobbyists and special interests, protecting the monopolistic interests of big companies while crushing the opportunities for small business and entrepreneurship. With its opposition to tea party candidates who favor loosening regulations and expanding opportunity, the Chamber has signaled that the only businesses it cares about are the ones with political power.

The idea of the Chamber backing Landrieu is particularly rich, on account of the Louisiana lawmaker’s part in passing the Affordable Care Act legislation. Landrieu provided one of the swing votes that allowed the bill no one had read to become law.

It would be hard to imagine a law more overtly hostile to business than ObamaCare. With its onerous employer mandates, requiring businesses to incur great expense or else cut back their workforce or reduce employee hours, ObamaCare puts an enormous burden on small employers. At the same time, the law as written forced companies to violate their religious convictions with the contraception mandate, that was only recently overturned in a narrow Supreme Court decision.

The law also imposes unreasonable costs on insurance companies by setting up incentives where only the very sick will apply for coverage, thereby causing the cost of insurance to skyrocket. In an attempt to counterbalance this cost, the government has promised massive bailouts to the insurance companies at the taxpayers’ expense, a bailout that is estimated to cost about $1 billion.

If the Chamber decides to support of Mary Landrieu, it will be a de facto endorsement of ObamaCare, the law her vote helped pass. If this is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s idea of “pro-business,” it’s clear that they don’t care about the interests of the American people or individual entrepreneurs.

The jig is up; the Chamber can no longer maintain the illusion of being a business friendly organization. Instead, they spend millions to support more regulations and more government – all of which harms the people they claim to represent.

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