The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sticking with CEO Suzanne Clark after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) privately called on the business group to replace her.
Mark Ordan, chairman of the Chamber’s board, said in a statement that Clark has the organization’s “complete support.”
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce team serves a vital role in the daily defense of American business. We serve our members, not a political party. Staying true to that mission requires a smart, savvy, vigorous leader like our CEO Suzanne Clark,” he said.
McCarthy has demanded that the Chamber replace its leadership, including Clark, if he becomes House speaker, Axios reported. Otherwise, McCarthy won’t work with the nation’s largest business lobbying group, the outlet reported.
The Chamber’s response threatens to widen a rift between the business group and House GOP leaders that began after the Chamber endorsed 23 Democrats in key 2020 House races.
“I don’t want the U.S. Chamber’s endorsement because they have sold out,” McCarthy told Fox News following the endorsements.
Republicans have become increasingly hostile toward corporate America over companies’ stances on social issues and their decision to cut off PAC donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 election results, including McCarthy. The Chamber did not commit to cutting off funds to all election objectors.
The Chamber has endorsed 23 Republicans and four Democrats in this year’s competitive House races and donated $3 million to a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to boost Republican Senate hopeful Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.
The business group, which represents much of corporate America and spends more on federal lobbying than any other entity, has made clear that it is still aligned with Republicans, who generally favor looser regulations and lower taxes for corporations.
“Republicans across the country have been running on issues, such as crime and inflation, important to the business community. A Republican speaker and majority will be an important check and balance on the excesses we’ve seen from the left. We look forward to working with the leadership and next Congress,” a Chamber spokesperson said in a statement.
It’s unclear who McCarthy would want to replace Clark, who took over as president and CEO in March 2021. Axios reported that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who is set to leave office after the midterms, is interested in the job.