Chamber of Commerce Plugs Cash Into Tight GOP Races

Fearing a big Senate majority for Dems, organization may spend up to $35M
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 1:56 PM CDT
"The whole caucus is upset at what the Chamber has done," New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The US Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobby, is throwing millions of dollars into an advertising campaign to prevent Democrats from winning a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, the Wall Street Journal reports. The group could spend $35 million, twice what it set aside for all 2006 congressional races. It’s almost exclusively promoting pro-business Republicans, drawing criticism from Democrats.

Democrats currently have a 51-49 majority in the Senate—not enough to silence a Republican filibuster like one that stymied Democratic efforts to pass last year’s Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make it far easier for labor unions to recruit. Business leaders fear an Obama White House with a 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate would rubber-stamp sweeping policy changes unfriendly to business.