Business
FILE - In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Mike Carvin, counsel for the National Federation of Independent Businesses speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) FILE - In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Mike Carvin, counsel for the National Federation of Independent Businesses speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)  

Liberal congressmen demand donor list from business lobby group at center of Obamacare court case

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

In a letter to the National Federation of Independent Business, the Congressional Progressive Caucus demanded disclosure of whatever financial role the conservative group Crossroads GPS played in its lawsuit about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

The NFIB is the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case under review to decide whether President Barack Obama’s signature health care law can take effect.

“We write to express concern about how small business owners are being represented before the Supreme Court in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act,” reads the letter, sent Tuesday. “We are concerned that the lawsuit is being funded by large corporate interests that do not speak for the American people.”

The group of liberal members of Congress also questioned whether a $3.7 million grant Crossroads GPS made to NFIB was used to fund the lawsuit, or if it gave the conservative lobby group undue influence over the organization. , Crossroads GPS is a 501(c)(4) non-profit founded by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

In addition to information about why the grant was made and how NFIB used the money, they also asked for a list of the business group’s members and a donor list covering the past three years.

The letter was signed by Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Keith Ellison, the Co-Chairs of the Caucus.

NFIB communications director Jean Card dismissed the letter during an interview with The Daily Caller, and said the group did not plan to respond in any way.

“As soon as the health-care law was passed, the response from NFIB members was immediate and overwhelmingly supportive of challenging the constitutionality of the law in court,” NFIB president Dan Danner added. “As we have said before, Crossroads GPS contributions were not used to fund the healthcare lawsuit.”

“I’m not sure why the Progressive Caucus thinks that they can compel us to disclose things that we are not legally required to disclose,” said Card.

NFIB is a membership organization for small businesses. As a trade association, it is not required to publicly disclose information about its donors.

Card said the Congressional Progressive Caucus called his press office to say the letter had been put in the mail.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in the next two weeks.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus and Crossroads GPS did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Follow Alexis on Twitter