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Chairman Smith to U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Explain Yourselves

May 06, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) called on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) today to provide the Committee with information regarding donations it received from third-party organizations whose stated goals appear antagonistic toward small businesses in the United States.

The letter follows reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) received over $12 million in funding from a left-wing group, the Tides Foundation, whose social justice work seems to directly conflict with the Chamber’s stated mission:

“The public reports at issue indicate that the USCCF has received over $12 million in funding from the Tides Foundation, a left-leaning organization that partners with and sponsors groups that advocate for policies that would harm the American business community,” wrote Chairman Smith. “Contrary to the USCC’s stated mission of improving lives ‘by advancing American business’ and advocating ‘for policies that help businesses create jobs and grow our economy,’ it seems odd that the foundation would accept funding from a group like the Tides Foundation, which is so focused on activities that are counter to USCC’s stated mission. Furthermore, these reports raise concerns about how the USCC and USCCF are using their tax-exempt status.”

The letter comes as the Ways and Means Committee has been examining the growth of the nation’s tax-exempt sector and whether organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that receive generous tax benefits are satisfying the purposes for which they were organized under the tax code and whether donors understand how their donations are being used by tax-exempt organizations:

“Does USCC share the vision of the Tides Foundation? If not, why would USCC accept funds from a group so opposed to its mission? Or perhaps the better question is why would the Tides Foundation think that this donation would advance its interests?

The letter continues, “These reports are concerning because the Committee is evaluating whether tax-exempt organizations like USCC and USCCF are operating for the exempt purposes that allowed them to obtain tax-exempt status. Additionally, the Committee is concerned about whether donors to, and members of, organizations like yours have sufficient awareness of how their money is being spent.”

You can read the letter here.

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