The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Congress shouldn't raise liability limits retroactively in the wake of the BP oil spill, calling it "not right."
“It’s generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game,” Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said at a wide-ranging breakfast with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor today. He added, "My own view is, it's not right."
Donohue said the Chamber "may choose to be more engaged in the other thing that I was just talking about, and that is how do we dig more gas and oil."
A spokesman for the Chamber later said in an e-mail that if legislation moves forward “to undo quite a bit of prior legal reform victories such as the Class Action Fairness Act,” the Chamber and its Institute for Legal Reform would likely jump into the fray.
Donohue also talked about legislation that would override the Supreme Court's controversial campaign finance ruling in the Citizens United case, calling it "fundamentally unconstitutional" and predicting the legislation, dubbed the DISCLOSE Act, "won’t happen." The bill is pending in the House and Senate.
The Chamber has made no secret of its dislike of the legislation, a response to the Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That decision struck down limits on corporate spending in elections and sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Donohue said the legislation—which is sponsored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)—"is targeted directly at those people who might not be supported by the head of the House campaign committee and by Schumer, the former head of the Senate campaign committee.”