This report examines the Chamber’s advocacy regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which consists of financial regulators and was created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to identify risks to the financial stability of the United States. The analysis is the last in a series of three reports on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s financial policy agenda issued over the past few weeks by Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch.
Undermining the CFPB: Chamber Seeks Light Regulation of Credit Cards by Limiting Powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, December 2015
The report highlights the Chamber’s defense of the onerous credit card terms megabanks promote at the expense of consumers. It also looks at the Chamber’s attempt to stifle dialogue between the CFPB and the U.S. Department of Defense as the agencies work to protect members of the military from predatory lending – a goal especially important for vulnerable service members deployed overseas. The analysis is the second of three reports on the Chamber’s broad attack against Wall Street reform.
Undermining Dodd-Frank: A Critical Review of the 2015 “Fix. Add. Replace. (FAR)” Agenda of the Center for Capital Market Competitiveness at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, December 2015
The report details how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s sweeping attacks against Wall Street reform are based on policies unsupported by evidence, harmful to small business and consumers, and largely beneficial to Wall Street. The “Undermining Dodd-Frank” report is the first of a three-part series and documents some of the Chamber’s most outrageous positions and shows its tendency to protect the nation’s largest banks.
A series of investigative articles by The New York Times beginning June 30, 2015 exposed how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (U.S. Chamber) has worked systematically in countries around the world to help the tobacco industry fight life-saving measures to reduce tobacco use. The Times articles examined the U.S. Chamber’s multi-pronged approach to fighting measures to reduce tobacco use, including opposing countries’ health policies, pitting countries against each other in international trade disputes, and influencing international trade agreements to benefit tobacco companies. This report examines the U.S. Chamber’s tactics in depth, providing additional information and documentation about more than a dozen instances in which the U.S. Chamber has intervened on behalf of some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies to interfere with countries’ efforts to pass and implement proven, life-saving policies.
Mission Creep-y: Google Is Quietly Becoming One of the Nation’s Most Powerful Political Forces While Expanding Its Information-Collection Empire, November 2014
Privacy experts say only the National Security Agency (NSA) rivals Google in terms of information gathering, and a recent survey showed that Americans are more concerned about companies like Google than the NSA. But Public Citizen documents that Google has not always warned the public before collecting or combining users’ information in new ways – and some of its collection practices have pushed the boundaries of the law. This is cause for concern as Google expands into new technological developments and acquisitions that collect information beyond what people do on the Internet.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the largest overall spender in the 2014 congressional elections among outside groups that do not disclose their contributors. It is the largest such spender in more than 80 percent of the contests it has sought to influence, a Public Citizen analysis of campaign spending data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows.
On its website, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it represents “the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations.” However, our analysis of the U.S. Chamber’s 2012 funders shows that about 1,500 entities provided 94 percent of its contributions, and more than half of its contributions came from just 64 donors.
Despite the global recognition of corruption as a serious issue, in 2010 groups purporting to support American enterprise began a concerted attack on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, demanding changes to the law that would weaken anti-bribery laws and harm American businesses. One of the most vocal of these groups has been the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The primary purpose of this report is to examine the Chamber’s recommendations on the FCPA and to argue that, far from helping American businesses and the economy at large, weakening the FCPA would hurt American businesses and consumers, threaten economic stability domestically and internationally, and damage our credibility in the international community.
Recently the U.S. Chamber has again gone on record in support of a “tax holiday,” which would allow multinational firms with foreign subsidiaries to repatriate earnings at much lower tax rates than the current corporate rate. Following the active lobbying of the U.S. Chamber, the United States enacted a similar repatriation “tax holiday” in 2004. This report examines the results of the 2004 experience, as well as the current debate. The facts show that far from creating jobs, tax repatriation merely allowed an outlet for Chamber member companies to offshore U.S. jobs and reap personal windfalls for their CEOs.
Corporations that disclosed their donations to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave the association $3.5 million in non-tax-deductible contributions, which can be used for political spending, this Chamber Watch report shows. However, given the extremely limited disclosure of such giving, it’s just a tiny slice of what the Chamber is receiving. In 2011, corporations that disclosed their contributions to the Chamber gave a total of approximately between $10.1 million and $11.4 million, according to the report, “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Pumps Millions into Elections.”
The handful of corporations that secretly fund the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are influencing national policy, and spend tens of millions of dollars every election season to elect congress members that will pursue their agenda. This report looks at the top five priorities the U.S. Chamber’s corporate Congress can be expected to pursue.