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U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls for end to shutdown

Largest lobbying group cites harm to economy, businesses and citizens

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging an end to the shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging an end to the shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s biggest lobbying group, urged lawmakers and the administration Tuesday to end the partial government shutdown, saying it was harming the American people, the business community and the economy.

“The Chamber strongly urges Congress and the administration to resolve this impasse and reopen the government,” wrote Neil Bradley, the group’s executive vice president and chief policy officer, in a letter to lawmakers and the White House. “As we are hearing every day from businesses across the country, the adverse consequences of the shutdown are wide and growing.”

The chamber is the top spender on federal lobbying, disclosing that it shelled out $70 million for the first three quarters of last year.

Bradley noted that small businesses were unable to receive assistance from the Small Business Administration, while companies are “delayed in their ability to raise additional capital or complete the process of going public” because of the partial shutdown.

He added that travelers are facing delays and the processing of imports “is hindered, and tariff exclusion requests are unprocessed. Safety inspectors are sidelined, mortgage approvals are delayed, and research is halted.”

The nation’s business community, including the chamber, which favors a comprehensive immigration overhaul, noted that the country’s immigration system was “at the heart of the current impasse.”

President Donald Trump has said he’d like the partial shutdown to continue until Congress approves more than $5 billion to fund a U.S.-Mexico border barrier.

“While we are unlikely to solve all of our immigration problems at this point in time, there is a clear compromise that Republicans and Democrats can and should seize without delay,” Bradley said. “The Chamber supports a deal that combines increasing border security with protection and legal status for Dreamers and long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.”

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