Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

U.S. Chamber Backs Justin Amash Primary Opponent

justin amash

Amash faces a primary opponent in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed GOP Rep. Justin Amash’s primary challenger in Michigan’s 3rd District.

The group’s support could translate into television airtime for Brian Ellis, a former East Grand Rapids School Trustee, before the Aug. 5 primary. The primary has become one of this cycle’s top battles inside the GOP, with the party’s libertarian wing backing Amash and national business interests boosting Ellis.

“The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Brian Ellis’ congressional campaign to represent Michigan’s 3rd congressional district. Both candidates in the primary sought our endorsement, and the choice in support of Ellis on pro-growth issues was clear,” U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President and National Political Director Rob Engstrom said in a Thursday statement.

Ellis more raised twice as much as Amash in the second quarter — some of which was self-financed. But Amash retained a cash-on-hand advantage, according to CQ Roll Call’s House Fundraising Chart. He also has the support of the Club for Growth.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already spent more than $14 million on races this cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The race is rated as Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • papacito9999

    Apparently the U.S. Chamber is looking to fill Congress with chickenhawk cowards

  • Nobama

    And Amnesty Lovers; got to keep those wages low!

  • John Galt

    We need more like Amash. Very disappointed in the Chamber of Commerce. Maybe should be called the Chamber of Cronyism.

  • Willys

    The CofC does prefer open borders, low wages, and amnesty for illegal aliens.

  • teapartydoc

    This is a rear guard action. You now have proof that the Establishment is losing. There is no way we will go on voting Republican unless it is our people in there. If they aren’t we will either not vote, vote libertarian, or eventually form a third party with the help of the libertarians. If you want to continue with the graft so badly, why don’t you just join up with the Democrats? After all, they are the real experts at it, anyway.

  • Montgomery Draxel

    The GOP needs to shed its ties with the Chamber of Commerce, and start focusing on working middle class people that have been abandoned by both parties.

    Time to start talking about tariffs on goods from nations that use cheap labor, as well as streamlining regulation and taxes for business operating in the US.

    Offer companies a one time tax free (or 5% charge) repatriation of dollars to bring money back into the US. Trillions in capital is sitting outside of the US because of our completely jacked up tax code.

    Cheap Chinese trinkets are not more important than low skill people working and not collecting welfare.

  • Smack

    Let me ask you…is it easier to collect $10,000,000.00 in “campaign contributions” from 100,000 people at $100 per person OR from a handful of Super-PACs? Of course, the question answers itself…but the premise also resolves the issue of the middle class being abandoned by both parties (which, I believe, is the basis for your first point). Is it any wonder then why the laws and regulations are being written in a manner to allow the super-rich to aggregate more and more wealth at the expense of the middle class?

    Currently, our country has devolved into a system of crony capitalism but, unfortunately, the two groups of people most vehemently opposed to the status quo (tea-partiers and occupy wall-streeters) are so diametrically opposed to each other in other political beliefs that it is easy for the powers that be to electorally play the groups off of one another and continue the gravy train…WITH OUR MONEY!

    Make no mistake…there is little difference between the vast majority of Congress-critters, whether an R or a D, as both sides just want to collect power and influence for the sake of rewarding their own “valued constituents”. Pretty much all that changes anymore with each election cycle is the name on the “pay to the order of” portion of uncle Sugar’s checks. The Chamber of Commerce’s recent political actions bear out my point.

  • OldmanRick

    This should come as no suprrise since the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cares little about the country and the people.

  • SlimWich

    It’s nice of the US Chamber to announce their picks so right thinking people can vote for the opposite.

  • ohio granny

    The Chamber of Commerce needs to be neutered. Smart voters will vote for the candidate NOT supported by the Chamber in every race where the Chamber has endorsed a candidate.

  • Gregory Williams

    the Chamber of Commerce is a UNION of corporations and it is union that does nothing good for this country, our environment or the people of this country.

    Real Unions with actual PEOPLE in them serve a purpose and do actual good – the corporations UNION called the Chamber of Commerce is just another extremist conservative group trying to turn America in to a Fascist hell hole.

    The Teatopians are taking their money when they win primaries and will never try to shut this evil union down … and they claim real actual representing actual people unions are bad – they believe that because the union of corporations tells them to believe that – if they want the campaign money to keep their do nothing for a paycheck in congress jobs and the same after they lose office when they are given a do nothing but still get a BIG paycheck job at a corporation.

  • bobbymike34

    DC is now filled with politicians of both sides who are just there to split the spoils amongst their powerful friends.

  • Layla

    We’re at a turning point, America. Microsoft is laying of 18,000 while at the same time increasing their requests for H1-B visas. The Chamber is in charge and if they succeed, you will see lower wages for all and a loss of jobs to Americans.

    This is why Congress must be voted out, Democrats first and then ANY RINO with over 2 terms in office, until all who put the needs of American families last are gone.

  • Layla

    Teatopians? The conservatives are trying to STOP this. You are siding with Chamber candidates.

  • Layla

    They only care about more H1-B visas…..lower wages and no Obamacare required.

  • Layla

    You are correct. And if they don’t get the message, then I’d say it’s time for a third party to put BOTH existing parties permanently out of business.

  • Layla

    Post this article on Facebook, folks. Get the word out.

  • mwmichaels

    Washington must again be held to account by the states. Senators need again be appointed by states (originally were) to make Senate accountable to constituents – less so to lobbyists. Not a fix-all but is one of many such changes which together can fix this mess. Else, learn to love Obama.

  • Cincinnatus

    I would think by now that the US Chamber of Cronyism endorsement woud be a real negative among real Republicans. The US Chamber of Cronyism has clearly been taken over by the Neo-Communist Demoncrat Party.

  • Layla

    GOP leadership in both the House and Senate are playing along.

  • Sharon Harrah-Hale

    I am not in agreement with the “US Chamber of commerce” endorsing anyone except it’s participating members. And I happen to be one of those members.

  • feralcat

    Personnally, I wouldn’t want the endorsement of the Chamber of Crony Capitalism and Serf Labor no matter how much money they would give me.

  • feralcat

    The Chamber of Commerce’s thirst for serf labor seems to be insatiable.

    They have no country. The mere spot on which they stand does not constitute
    so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. –
    Thomas Jefferson

    BTW, let’s not call it “Immigration Reform” when it’s Amnesty/Rewards for tens of millions of Third World Invaders because the greedy Chamber of Commerce members want to use them as serf laborers.

  • 2summer4

    Ellis must be for unlimited illegal immigration.

  • Rick Caird

    It is pretty amazing that the Chamber is getting involved in internal Republican politics. Even though most of the large company donations go to Democrats, this just furthers the left’s spin that Republicans are beholden to business. Afther the Chambers involvement in the Thad Cochran debacle, we really don’t need any more “help” from the Chamber.

  • DE-173

    Spend all the money you want, rent-seekers. Conservatives sit home and you’re dealing with Democrats.

  • stafford123

    That is just plain dumb. There is greater opportunity for special interests to buy a state legislature because the costs are lower. Anyone who thinks state houses are free of special interests is not paying attention.

  • stafford123

    I guess you equate the tin-hat brigade with “right thinking people”. That is simply too absurd for words.

  • mwmichaels

    Did you happen to notice this is already in your Constitution? Inserted to protect the republic from just the type of imperial government Obama is putting in place. I suppose all those guys were dumb as well. Good luck with your hope. And, btw, please let me know when Washington fixes itself.

  • SKPeterson

    The Chamber is basically saying, “A vote for Ellis is a vote for Crony Capitalism, we mean America. Yeah, America. And that’s what we, the Chamber, are all about: keeping the federal subsidies rolling in what’s good for America. So, vote Ellis.”

  • Trucker

    We need to defund the Chamber of Demorats.

  • Trucker

    Are they going to publish Mr. Ellis’s record?

  • Guest2

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce needs to keep their noses and monies out of politics. Their primary responsibilities are helping business grow, furthering opportunity connections between businesses, and help with any foreign trade advancement. Endorsing or backing ($$$$) ANY party or candidate is trespassing on grounds they have no ‘business’ to tread upon.

  • Guest2

    I see your thought process – they should NOT be endorsing anyone, period!

  • Guest2

    A Lot of businesses do NOT belong to the US Chamber of Commerce or their local ones either.

  • Guest2

    A lot of non-member businesses have by NOT joining.

  • Layla

    The US Chamber is responsible for most of the political corruption going on in this country at the moment.

  • Layla

    And THAT is because national and local have become too political, causing this current mess.

  • Scott Wilson

    That question should be asked of him, or make it a question Justin asks.

  • Dan Burdge

    Vote them all out! Send a shock wave to D.C.

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