Faith-based investors pressure Chamber

Thirty-six major corporations are being pressured by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (www.iccr.org ) to denounce the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s principled opposition to health care and climate change legislation. ICCR says that all of the targeted companies previously adopted “health care principles now at odds with Chamber lobbying efforts.”

A letter representing 275 faith-based investors (and the AFL-CIO) was sent to three dozen targeted companies that previously adopted “health care principles now at odds with Chamber lobbying efforts” – i.e. let taxpayers pay.

In response to the pressure tactics, Tita Freeman, the Chamber’s vice president of communications, told The Examiner: “The Chamber’s number one priority is growing the economy and creating jobs. The Chamber has long advocated for health care reform that expands access to quality health coverage while bringing health care costs down for individuals, families and businesses. We will not be distracted from these goals.”

The companies being targeted are: Aetna; American Express; AT&T; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cardinal Health; Cisco Systems; Duke Energy; DuPont; Eli Lilly; Exxon Mobil; General Electric; General Mills; Goldman Sachs; Home Depot; IBM; Kellogg; Kohl’s; Manpower; Marriott; McDonald’s; Medco; Merck; Peabody; Pepsi; Pfizer; Safeway; Staples; Starbucks; Target; 3 M; UnitedHealth Group; United Technologies; Verizon; Walmart; Wellpoint; and Xerox.

What ICCR doesn’t mention is that the health care bill alone could cost $3 trillion by 2023, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. The Kerry-Boxer climate change legislation would be the largest tax increase in world history. This double sucker punch in the middle of a deep recession will kill future job prospects and force millions of Americans out of the middle class.

But thanks for caring.

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