Political Correction

Chamber Of Commerce Spent $123 Million On Lobbying Last Year

January 25, 2010 2:09 pm ET - by Melinda Warner

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has made no effort to hide its opposition to Democratic health care reform proposals.  Whether or not this opposition was due to the fact that reform would hurt the giant private health insurance companies, the fact remains that the Chamber has spent millions fighting policy proposals that stand to help millions of Americans.

The National Journal reported:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce stood out not only for consistently outspending other groups, but also for nearly doubling its lobbying spending over the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2009 alone, the group's outflows easily topped the amount spent by any other group all year.

The chamber spent $123.3 million on all lobbying activities for 2009, compared to $62.3 million in 2008, according to lobbying disclosure forms. Lobbying disclosure forms do not break down spending by legislative issue, and the chamber lobbied on subjects other than health care in 2009.

These financial details emerge on the heels of the revelation that America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has been "quietly pumping big money" into the Chamber to pay for factless anti-health care reform ads.  Their political activity has done much to perpetuate false information about health care reform that has misled Americans into believing health care reform will be detrimental to their lives.

The Chamber has not been shy about spending money on issue ads.  Whether it's health care reform, clean energy, or the Employee Free Choice Act, the Chamber's pro-corporate stance has been well documented. 

With the new power granted by the Supreme Court's dubious Citizens United decision, we can rest assured that we will see similar behavior on the part of corporations in the near future.

Based on the unfortunate success of the Chamber's fear mongering, I think it's pretty safe to say that we'll all be suffering through rounds of ridiculous, lie-based ads in the very near future.

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