House Committee Investigating Soros-Linked Donations to US Chamber of Commerce

The House Ways and Means Committee has opened an investigation to find out why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has received millions in donations from an organization whose objectives appear hostile to American businesses.

Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Suzanne P. Clark, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The letter asked why the foundation accepted $12 million in donations from the Tides Foundation, a left-leaning nonprofit that coordinates with organizations that promote policies the committee says would harm American businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce, a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt entity, is the world’s largest business organization and claims to “advocate, connect, inform, and fight for business growth and America’s success.” The Chamber foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is also tax exempt.

The Tides Foundation, also known simply as Tides, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by George Soros that collaborates “with like-minded funders” to “shift resources to communities historically denied power,” according to its website.

While Mr. Smith’s letter did not indicate any specific allegations that either the Chamber or the Chamber foundation have violated any rules governing nonprofits, he noted that the objectives of the two organizations are in conflict with those of Tides, and he asked why the Chamber foundation would accept money from an organization whose goals are at odds with its own.

Questioning Tax-Exempt Status

Mr. Smith’s letter points to the partnership between Tides and “anti-business organizations” such as the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR).

ICAR issued a report in December 2023 stating that America’s transnational corporations create “intentionally complex, opaque supply chains“ to hide ”systematic wage theft, forced labor, and attacks against human rights defenders.”

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ICAR also stated that American corporations pay almost no federal income taxes while simultaneously spending “hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying for their interests.”

Tides also supports initiatives such as the “Immigrants Belong Fund,” which aims to overcome public perception that an expanded immigrant labor market would pose a danger to America’s “economy and way of life,” and the “Frontline Justice Fund,” which provides grants to support environmental litigation.

Mr. Smith’s letter noted that the committee is evaluating whether tax-exempt entities such as the Chamber and its foundation are adhering to the requirements that enable them to acquire and maintain tax-exempt status. The committee is also concerned about whether donors are aware of how their money is being spent.

In an emailed statement to The Epoch Times, a Tides spokesperson said the organization is “aware of and monitoring” the committee’s request to the Chamber regarding the contributions it accepted from Tides.

The spokesperson said the $12 million given to the Chamber foundation was used for the “Hiring Our Heroes” program, which connects the military community with American businesses to create economic opportunity and a strong and “diversified workforce.”

“It is our view that the request for comment is a politically motivated PR tactic during an election year, driven by actors who disagree with the social justice work of Tides and our partner organizations,” the Tides spokesperson said. “Tides is proud to partner with a broad range of organizations, including 60+ corporate partners, to support social impact and grantmaking programs.”

In the letter, Mr. Smith said the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce Foundation have until 5 p.m. on May 20 to respond to the committee’s questions.

The Epoch Times contacted the Chamber for comment.

Corporations and Nonprofits

Bill Flaig is the co-founder and CEO of the American Conservative Values Fund, an investment alternative for politically conservative investors that prioritizes shareholder returns and divesting from companies they believe are hostile to conservative values.

The fund is an exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is a collection of securities that can be purchased or sold through a brokerage firm on a stock exchange.

Mr. Flaig told The Epoch Times that the push to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and environmental and social governance (ESG) policies in the nonprofit world is analogous to the same push in the corporate world.

Just as the focus of a corporation is supposed to be enhancing shareholder value, the priority of the Chamber should be promoting policies that benefit American businesses, Mr. Flaig said.

He also said there is no need for nonprofits such as the Chamber or Tides to push DEI and ESG programs into the business community because most of them already have those policies.

“We see a lot of this, particularly in the technology and financial services sector,” he said.

Anything that isn’t focused on stakeholder value is a misuse of shareholders’ money, he said, and DEI is one of the biggest abuses. The American Conservative Values Fund operates under the premise that the best thing for shareholders is to have the best person in each position, not people who satisfy a checklist of diversity, he said.

“To me, the Chamber of Commerce has become a reflection of corporate America, as sad as that is,” he said.

He said the Chamber’s partnership with organizations such as Tides, which advocate for DEI and ESG policies in the business community, may reflect the beliefs of the Chamber’s leadership.

“This is what we see in corporate America,” Mr. Flaig said. “The CEO or management buy into DEI and social justice and push it onto the company. We could have that happening at the Chamber. They may be under a lot of political pressure from the left, so they may have fallen victim to that. It’s a bad trend.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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