Rep. West: "Why Do We Have A Department Of Commerce When We Have A U.S. Chamber Of Commerce?"

November 22, 2011 10:30 am ET — Alan Pyke

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) was among the chorus of Republican voices on Fox News this morning spinning the failure of the super committee as a failure to make sufficient cuts while ignoring his party's intransigence on taxes. In making the standard GOP argument about the size of government, West asked an amusing question: "Why do we have a Department of Commerce when we have a U.S. Chamber of Commerce?"

WEST: Well I think when I talk to the Tea Party supporters, as I said, we've already looked to cut the Department of Defense by 466 billion over the next 10 years. But I think that we also have to look at many different government agencies, failed, duplicative programs. Let's start looking at the subsidies that we have coming out of the Department of Agriculture. Why do we have a Department of Commerce when we have a U.S. Chamber of Commerce? A Department of Energy that was created some 40 years ago to make the United States of America energy independent but yet our dependency on foreign energy sources have increased from 18 to 66 percent. So I think there's a lot of places where we can look in Washington, D.C. and stop the growth of the bureaucratic nanny state.


To answer West's question, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a right-wing business lobby that advances the interests of its giant corporate members, in part by airing 25,000 dishonest attack ads during last year's midterm election season. Just because they both have the word "commerce" in their name doesn't mean the right-wing business lobby and a federal department have duplicative functions.