When they’re on the hustings, members of Congress like to tout endorsements or praise from organizations that look favorably on their voting records. One group whose support many lawmakers embrace is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the mammoth business federation with more than 3 million members.
The Chamber today announced that 260 lawmakers had qualified for its 2008 “Spirit of Enterprise” award by siding with its positions at least 70 percent of the time on the most important votes in last year’s session. (Some of the lawmakers are no longer in Congress because they retired, sought other office or were defeated for re-election.)
There is a Republican skew to the list of honorees: 233 of the 260 lawmakers who got the Chamber’s nod align with that party, including 188 of 204 in the House and 45 of 56 in the Senate. The Chamber’s free-market positions on trade, tax and regulatory issues generally draw more support from Republicans than from Democrats, who by and large line up more frequently with the positions of labor unions.