As American businesses brace for a flood of new regulations in 2013, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is strengthening its legal defenses, Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue said on Thursday.
Delivering the Chamber's annual state of American business address at the organization's Washington headquarters, Donohue said his group will "significantly expand the expertise" of its public policy law firm, the National Chamber Litigation Center, to fight regulations that hurt businesses. The Chamber is particularly concerned about regulations stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform and health care laws, as well as from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.
"Our preference is always to work within the legislative and regulatory processes and we do that on a daily basis," said Donohue, who has led the Chamber for 15 years. "But when rights have been trampled on, or regulators have overstepped their bounds, well then we'll just take the necessary legal action."
The Chamber is ready to "proudly and vigorously" represent U.S. businesses in the battles ahead this year, he said. The group spent $74.4 million on federal lobbying during the first three quarters of 2012, according to congressional records.
"Business is not the problem," Donohue said. "It is business that creates jobs – high quality, well-paying jobs – and jobs and business are the solution. Our leaders in government need to understand this."