AFR: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lies Won’t Stop Reform

DATE: March 26, 2010

Consumer Protection: Just the Facts, Ma’am

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lies Won’t Stop Reform

Washington, DC – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims it stands up for the interests of small business, but a closer look at the Chamber shows who they really represent – and why they’re spreading lies to kill financial regulatory reform. The Chamber is looking to protect those big businesses that have profited by lack of oversight and regulation. In fact, the Chamber’s 2008 tax records show that only 19 companies or individuals contributed to a third of its total revenue that year, giving between $1 million and $15.3 million to the Chamber. Additionally, the Chamber has repeatedly exaggerated its membership by hundreds of thousands.

Heather Booth, Director, Americans for Financial Reform: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has shown time and time again that they’re only looking out for the interests of big businesses, such as when they funneled money from the big health insurance companies to air ads against reforming our health care system. It doesn’t take a great imagination to guess where the money is coming from for their latest ads. But small businesses are not lulled in by these fall claims because they know the Chamber’s interests are not their own. Across the country, we see small businesses are realizing how important a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency would be to their bottom line.”

Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, U.S. PIRG: “Once again, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce completely misses the mark. Financial reform, including a strong and independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, will increase stability for small businesses ensuring a predictable flow of credit and clear rules of the road for financial products. Because small businesses often use consumer credit cards, it is precisely these companies who need fair and transparent rules. As Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin put it in his speech this week, ‘the Chamber also has an obligation to be honest’ and we all know it’s new attacks are anything but.”

Business groups backing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency include: Main Street Alliance, Business for Shared Prosperity, American Business Leaders for Financial Reform and the American Sustainable Business Council are among the business leaders that have voiced their support for the legislation.