The U.S. Chamber of Commerce took a close look at its congressional report card and gave itself a failing grade.
After 40 years, the chamber, a powerful business organization, decided its method of rating and endorsing members of Congress was out of whack and could be contributing to the very gridlock it was hoping to break.
Now the group, hoping to stir some bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, is overhauling its scoring system in hope of broadening its congressional base and rewarding those who reach across the aisle. It is a significant shift and represents the chamber’s recognition that a better functioning government might better serve its own interests — and its members — than persistent stalemate of the type that just caused a government shutdown, the longest on record.
“We are going to give it a chance,” said Scott W. Reed, the chamber’s senior political strategist. “We are going to reach out our hand. We made a strategic decision that we have to change this.”