WASHINGTON — Business groups have made it clear that the only part of the Commerce Clause now relevant them is the congressional return policy.
“I remember when the GOP used to be the party of big business,” lamented Wayne Johnson, a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington’s biggest lobbying group. “Now many of the politicians we bankrolled won’t even return our phone calls as they threaten to soil our good name and take the economy down with us.”
The Chamber spent over $32 million in the 2012 election cycle, most of it in support of Republicans. Unfortunately for the group, it has been unable to receive a full refund for its contributions and may, instead, have to settle for an exchange in the 2014 election.
Johnson had a warning for the House majority, “We bought you, and we can just as easily return you to your districts without your congressional lapel pins.” Recent statements like these have made it apparent that his group might back primary challengers to ensure a more business-friendly government in the years ahead.
While in general agreement with the business lobby’s stance on lower taxes and deregulation, the extreme right has proven less amenable to business-friendly positions on immigration reform and methods for handling the debt.
A representative from the American Bankers Association, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Newslo that, “We used to have Republican lawmakers in our hip pocket. Now they just make us look like corporate fat cats. I will not stand to wear that shame.”
“Congress has a proud history of screwing over its voting constituents,” noted Johnson, “And we’re fine with that. But this foolhardy government ‘slim down’ is also putting the squeeze on its real constituents—the business community whose voice [as established by the Supreme Court] matters the most.
Members of the Tea Party caucus are making the return difficult, however.
“It might have been different if they saved their receipts,” said Representative Randy Neugebauer, a caucus member from Texas, “but a lot of their campaign contributions were funneled into Super PACs through nonprofit organizations, which effectively bypassed disclosure rules. Ironically, it’s their loss.”