Pro-Business Groups Lack Consensus on Solution to the Debt Ceiling

Jeffrey ErnstFriedman | July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 - Time is running out for members of Congress to draft and pass legislation before the U.S. is expected to default on its loans. An article in CQ Weekly highlights a division among conservative-leaning pro-business groups that might illustrate why Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) have had difficulty in their negotiations with President Obama over raising the debt ceiling.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called for Congress to raise the debt ceiling before continuing the discussion concerning government outlays and revenues. The Club for Growth has called for Congress to raise the debt ceiling only after enacting spending cuts. Neither group favors an increase in taxes.

MapLight has analyzed campaign contributions dating back to Jan. 1, 2001 from each group and its employees mentioned in the article to the campaign committees of current members of Congress. Click here to download a spreadsheet listing all contribution recipients.

Total Contributions from Groups Mentioned in the Article

Club for Growth*$ 4,722,944
US Chamber of Commerce$ 479,509
National Association of Manufacturers    $ 37,350
Heritage Foundation$ 33,265
Financial Services Forum$ 30,950
Let Freedom Ring$ 16,450
First Trust Portfolios$ 12,150
National Taxpayers Union$ 5,516
Americans for Tax Reform$ 797

*  According to, the Club for Growth’s PAC also acts as a conduit for federal candidates by accepting and transmitting earmarked contributions from the club’s members to federal candidates.

Top 20 Recipients of Combined Contributions from Groups Mentioned in the Article

LawmakerPartyChamber    State     Total Contributions    
Patrick ToomeyRepublican       SenatePA$853,360
Timothy WalbergRepublicanHouseMI$401,645
Marco RubioRepublicanSenateFL$355,996
Andy HarrisRepublicanHouseMD$354,751
Steven PearceRepublicanHouseNM$352,367
Adrian SmithRepublicanHouseNE$249,455
Saxby ChamblissRepublicanSenateGA$194,518
Jim DeMintRepublicanSenateSC$175,026
John ThuneRepublicanSenateSD$174,847
Jon KylRepublicanSenateAZ$157,253
Henry CuellarDemocratHouseTX$135,062
Tom GravesRepublicanHouseGA$134,750
Jeff DuncanRepublicanHouseSC$130,100
Michele BachmannRepublicanHouseMN$99,680
Cathy McMorris Rodgers    RepublicanHouseWA$89,650
Mick MulvaneyRepublicanHouseSC$85,580
Richard BurrRepublicanSenateNC$75,595
Thomas CoburnRepublicanSenateOK$75,088
Tim ScottRepublicanHouseSC$65,550
Todd YoungRepublicanHouseIN$65,400

Methodology: A MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to current members of Congress from organizations mentioned in the CQ Weekly article by Joseph J. Schatz, entitled "A Very Businesslike Rivalry for Clout," published on July 2, 2011. Campaign contributions source: