US Chamber Backs CEO, Despite Rep. McCarthy's Demand to Oust Her House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (AP)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 03 November 2022 02:00 PM EDT
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is standing by its president and CEO Suzanne Clark despite a demand from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. R-Calif., that the business group replace its complete leadership.
Axios reported McCarthy has made it clear, in conversations with chamber board members, he will not work with Clark and her team if Republicans win on Tuesday and he becomes House speaker.
But Mark Ordan, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, maintained Clark has the full backing from the board.
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce team serves a vital role in the daily defense of American business," he said. "We serve our members, not a political party.
"Staying true to that mission requires a smart, savvy, vigorous leader like our CEO Suzanne Clark. It is for that reason that our governing body, the executive committee of the board of directors, is unequivocally enthusiastic about Suzanne's performance and the importance of her ongoing tenure as CEO of the U.S. Chamber. She has our complete support."
Axios noted McCarthy's conversations have escalated the conflict between him and the chamber.
According to the news outlet the conflict was touched off in Aug. 2020, when the chamber endorsed 23 Democrat freshmen for re-election. Of those endorsed, 15 won — guaranteeing that McCarthy could not win speaker.
Then-President Donald Trump had even tried to get the chamber to rethink its Democrat endorsements.
After hearing about the chamber endorsing the 23 freshmen House Democrats, McCarthy had said he rejected the chamber's endorsement "because they have sold out."
A Chamber spokesperson said "Republicans across the country having 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."
Meanwhile, Axios reported that Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, who will leave office after the midterms, has privately expressed interest in the chamber position.