Key officers depart U.S. Chamber of Commerce amid GOP criticism
A number of key officers have left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because the nation’s greatest enterprise lobbying group shifts its priorities and adjustments its management throughout the administration of President Joe Biden.
At the least 4 of the group’s key leaders left in current months.
The previous Chamber executives who’ve just lately departed both declined to remark or didn’t return requests for remark to CNBC.
A Chamber spokesman wouldn’t touch upon why the leaders talked about on this story selected to depart.
“Whereas the Chamber would not touch upon particular personnel, we’re happy with our proficient employees, our report low turnover, and up to date new hires,” the spokesman mentioned. “Our staff are essential to serving our members and our mission to create jobs and stimulate financial progress.”
He famous that the group just lately employed former Home of Representatives parliamentarian Tom Wickham as senior vp for state and native coverage; Kasper Zeuthen, who led communications technique on commerce and different coverage issues on the European Union Delegation to the US, as a vp; and Denise Osei, from advertising and marketing outfit Vacation spot DC, because the group’s social media strategist.
Nonetheless, the timing of the departures coincides with elevated Republican criticism of the Chamber because it backs extra Democratic lawmakers.
The adjustments additionally come as the brand new CEO, Suzanne Clark, takes over for Tom Donohue, who led the group because the late Nineties. The Chamber additionally just lately misplaced Charles Schwab as certainly one of its company members.
Caroline Harris, a number one tax lobbyist for the Chamber, left the group this month, in line with her LinkedIn web page. She had been on the Chamber for over a decade, her web page says.
An individual with direct data of the matter, who declined to be named with the intention to converse freely, informed CNBC that Harris is becoming a member of Capitol Tax Companions, a lobbying store that focuses on tax laws. The agency touts that it has labored on each tax invoice that has develop into regulation during the last 30 years, together with former President Donald Trump’s tax reform invoice.
The agency was paid practically $12 million in 2020 for its lobbying work, for shoppers resembling Apple, FedEx, Amazon, Citadel, Goldman Sachs and the American Funding Council, in line with knowledge from the nonpartisan Heart for Responsive politics.
The managing companion at Capitol Tax Companions didn’t reply to requests for remark.
One other current departure is Christina Atchley Lotspike. She was a head lobbyist specializing in expertise and transportation infrastructure, which is a key precedence for the Biden administration. The president is searching for to boost the company tax charge to assist pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal.
Atchley’s LinkedIn web page says she left the Chamber this month after over seven years with the group. Atchley is now a lobbyist at grocery procuring app Instacart.
Rob Schroder left the Chamber at the beginning of 2021, in line with his LinkedIn web page. He was a senior vp of worldwide affairs. He had additionally been on the Chamber over seven years, in line with his LinkedIn web page.
Stan Harrell, who had been the Chamber’s chief monetary officer, not holds that title, in line with the group’s web site. As a substitute, it lists him as a former senior vp and CFO.
The newest 990 tax type for the group’s basis from 2019, lists Harrell because the CFO. The shape reveals that Harrell signed and dated the 990 doc in November 2020 because the CFO. His LinkedIn web page says he is been on the Chamber for over 20 years. The Chamber spokesman didn’t say who’s in line to be their subsequent CFO.
These strikes mark the newest departures from the Chamber of Commerce.
Scott Reed, a former senior political strategist on the Chamber, informed CNBC final yr that he resigned because of the “leftward motion and fixed Trump bashing of the Chamber.” The group claimed that they fired Reed.
The departures additionally come as corporations face pushback from GOP leaders for opposing Georgia’s new voting regulation and comparable measures being crafted in different states. Critics have mentioned these legal guidelines would curb voting entry for minorities.
Whereas among the Chamber’s members have been vocal about their opposition to those legal guidelines, the group itself has taken a extra direct stand towards the Democratic-backed For the Folks Act, which goals to bolster voting entry.
The group’s letter opposing the invoice signifies that it’s towards a lot of the voting laws being debated throughout the nation.
“The Chamber is deeply troubled by efforts on the state and federal stage to enact election regulation adjustments on a partisan foundation,” it mentioned.
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