As of now, there are more than 20 bills in Congress that contain some sort of provision that would limit consumer rights. The right to take a company to court if it cheats or harms you is paramount among these. Notably, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the driving force behind many if not most of these rights-limiting bills. And it has a good—if nefarious—reason for wanting consumer rights to be gutted: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is comprised of some of the biggest corporations in the world, corporations who don’t want accountability to stand in the way of their profits.
Despite its misleading name, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not a federal bureau. It is an independent business federation that represents the interests of rich oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, automakers, and other multi-million dollar industries. A full 55% of its funding comes from just 16 mega-corporations. Last year the U.S. Chamber spent $136 million lobbying in Washington—more than three times the next highest spender (the National Association of Realtors)—for companies that already turn profits in the millions. It also spent more than $35 million trying to influence the 2012 elections, backing two Democrats and 38 Republicans in House races, but no Democrats and 12 Republicans in Senate races. When its current president and CEO, Tom Donahue, was hired in 1997, “he vowed to make trouble for…trial lawyers, environmentalists and union leaders.”
Clearly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is up to no good when it comes to protecting small business owners and average Americans. We need to make sure we preserve our rights against mega-corporations no matter what. To make your voice heard, click here.