Republican Congressman Returns Chamber Of Commerce Award

Seth Richardson Contributor
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A House Republican decided he’d had enough with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stance on amnesty and China by refusing an award from the organization.

Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan said he decided to decline the Spirit of Enterprise Award he received earlier this Congress in a press release Thursday. Rob Wasinger, Bentivolio’s chief of staff, said the organization was more concerned with exploiting the law to keep labor costs down.

“If you notice, they call it the Spirit of Enterprise award, not the Spirit of Free Enterprise Award,” Wasinger told The Daily Caller via email. “Crony capitalism is alive and well at the Chamber of Commerce.”

Wasinger said in the press release that the chamber was now at the behest of foreign interests, particularly China.

“The US Chamber is in the pocket of Communist China and big companies seeking cheap labor in the United States,” Wasinger said in the release. “We think it is morally repugnant for the chamber to pursue, as a matter of public policy, initiatives which exploit the poor and oppressed, just so they can keep labor costs down for their fortune 500 member companies.”

“The Chamber of Commerce is beholden to special interests and has long since forgotten the main street businesses that struggle everyday to make payroll and keep their company afloat,” Bentivolio said. “It is with great pride that I reject their award, and call on them to stand on the side of America, instead of on the side of China and corporate interests seeking to exploit people for profit. I am with main street, not Wall Street.”

The press release also indicated the organization’s firm stance on amnesty as another reason for the decision. The chamber gave an ultimatum to the Republican Party in May demanding immigration reform before the 2016 election.

Blair Latoff Holmes, the executive director of media relations for the Chamber of Commerce said the organization was now endorsing Bentivolio’s Aug. 5 primary opponent, Dave Trott.

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Seth Richardson