The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that it will make campaign donations to Republicans that vote to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, putting it at loggerheads with the Tea Party.
That is significant, because The Chamber provides a financial counter balance to House incumbents that could face a primary challenger if they support a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the operation of the U.S. government or to raise the sovereign debt that can be issued by the United States Treasury to avoid a default.
The shutdown crisis began last week over an attempt to nullify the ACA by defunding it. Republicans have unsuccessfully tried to repeal or dismantle the ACA 46 times. Opponents claim that it is a “job killer,” but some leading economists say that there’s no evidence to substantiate it. Republicans spent months planning their shutdown strategy over the law, an extreme aberration from the normal legislative process and rebuke of the 2012 election.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which opposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), last month came forward with a large number of Wall St. CEOS against the shutdown and expressed concern that failure to raise the debt ceiling could do substantial economic damage. A default would trigger an acute worldwide financial crisis by undermining confidence in U.S. Treasury Bills. Congressional Republicans are refusing to raise it unless a list of demands is met - several of which have nothing to do with spending or debt and are more political in nature.
Some influential Republican donors are now threatening to withhold their contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee over the shutdown strategy, the Daily Beast reports. The organization’s chairman, Rep. Greg Walden, told attendees at a closed door meeting last month that Republicans were forced into the shutdown by its hard right Tea Party wing and that candidates that objected to its agenda would lose primaries.
Anecdotal reports have shown that at least some Republicans that signed up for insurance through the state exchanges now like the law, but the sourcing is patchy, and only time will tell what the public really thinks. A majority of Americans did not support a shutdown over defunding the law - whether they liked it or not.
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