US business lobby spent $35m fighting Obama plans

Friction between the business community and the Obama administration was on display in the third quarter, as the US Chamber of Commerce spent a record $34.7m (£20.9m) lobbying against a raft of legislation that it said will be bad for business.

The breakdown of spending, revealed in a quarterly filing, shows that the debate on health insurance reform occupied the largest chunk of the organisation's time and money, but the group has also been battling Barack Obama's plans to create a new regulatory agency to cover consumer financial products and to introduce a carbon cap-and-trade scheme to tackle global warming.

There are also growing fissures between the organisation and the administration over trade policy. This week, the Chamber of Commerce vice-president, Bruce Josten, warned that the US would see its share of global trade fall if it did not quickly push new free-trade agreements with emerging markets.

Mr Obama's predecessor George W Bush signed free-trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, but they have not been ratified by Congress. The Chamber of Commerce accuses the White House of failing to press the issue because of Democratic Party ties to unions. "We don't have a trade agenda that I can find for this administration," Mr Josten said. "We're ceding market share." Canada recently signed a free trade pact with Colombia, and the European Union penned a deal with South Korea last week.

The $34.7m bill for the three months to the end of September included money to pay for a dozen lobbyists to visit Congress. The US Chamber of Commerce claims to be the world's biggest business organisation, representing three million companies. Its stance against climate change laws has thrown it into turmoil, however.

Apple and Pacific Gas and Electric are among the high-profile firms that resigned membership in protest. Last month, Nike resigned from the chamber's board.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific