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

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

Organizations Contributions
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
Total $5,338,931

*  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

Lawmaker Party Chamber    State     Total Contributions    
Patrick Toomey Republican       Senate PA $853,360
Timothy Walberg Republican House MI $401,645
Marco Rubio Republican Senate FL $355,996
Andy Harris Republican House MD $354,751
Steven Pearce Republican House NM $352,367
Adrian Smith Republican House NE $249,455
Saxby Chambliss Republican Senate GA $194,518
Jim DeMint Republican Senate SC $175,026
John Thune Republican Senate SD $174,847
Jon Kyl Republican Senate AZ $157,253
Henry Cuellar Democrat House TX $135,062
Tom Graves Republican House GA $134,750
Jeff Duncan Republican House SC $130,100
Michele Bachmann Republican House MN $99,680
Cathy McMorris Rodgers    Republican House WA $89,650
Mick Mulvaney Republican House SC $85,580
Richard Burr Republican Senate NC $75,595
Thomas Coburn Republican Senate OK $75,088
Tim Scott Republican House SC $65,550
Todd Young Republican House IN $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:

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.