Chamber of Commerce’s Woes Expand as Donation Draws Scrutiny

Issues continue to compound for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) as a hefty donation from former Never Trump Rep. Peter Meijer’s (R-MI) father to the tax-exempt entity during his son’s 2022 primary race — which was received shortly after the entity’s endorsement of the former congressman — comes under scrutiny.

The Hill’s Taylor Giorno first reported the revelations about the timing and nature of the donation on Tuesday, citing internal emails it reviewed.

Just days after the USCC announced its support for Meijer in his primary contest against Trump-backed candidate John Gibbs on July 11, 2022, Meijer’s father, Hank Meijer, wired $800,000 to the entity on July 15, per the outlet. Meijer, notably, was one of just ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

The donation was followed by a $381,000 ad buy by the USCC on July 21. The ad painted Meijer in a positive light.

However, due to the nature of the ad and the USCC’s status as a nonprofit, it is not legally obligated to disclose its donors, Giorno notes:

But because the ad — titled “Thank you, Rep. Peter Meijer” — does not explicitly advocate for his election or defeat, the pro-business lobbying giant did not have to legally disclose the donation from Hank Meijer, the co-chair and CEO of the Meijer chain of superstores. It also did not have to disclose any other potential contributions behind the $1.8 million it told the FEC it spent on “electioneering communications” that cycle.

The “Purpose of Disbursement” for the $381,000 payment on a Federal Election Commission (FEC) form states, “Media Advertisement — Energy and Taxes — Mentioning Rep. Peter Meijer.” While the advertisement does not directly call for voting for or against Meijer, it does work to offer a flattering perception of him.


“Fourth generation West Michigander, steadfast conservative leader,” a narrator states at the top of the clip. Images of Meijer accompany the narration. “In Congress, Peter always puts West Michigan first.”

The ad ends by instructing voters to “call Peter Meijer” and “ask him to keep up the fight for West Michigan.”

Dark money aficionado and OpenSecrets editorial and investigation manager Anna Massoglia zoned in on the close proximity of the wire transfer from Hank Meijer and the chamber’s endorsement.

“The biggest question … would be what agreements, if any, are in place behind the scenes with this,” Massoglia told the Hill. “Is this explicitly giving money for an endorsement or their support? Or was this a big coincidence that the timing was so close?”

While the spokespeople for the USCC “insisted the donation complied with all applicable laws,” they did not answer the outlet’s “specific questions about the timing of or discussion around the donation, the terms of the contribution, and how that money was used,” per Giorno.

This is just the latest headache for the USCC.

As Breitbart News first reported in March, the Soros-funded Tides Foundation’s public filings show it provided the Chamber of Commerce with $12 million between 2018 and 2022. The bombshell report from Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle underscored that the lobbying giant has moved hard left in recent years despite claiming to advocate for American businesses.

Boyle’s report sparked an investigation by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) into the USCC and its affiliated foundation in May. Weeks later, on May 31, amid the investigation, USCC President and CEO Suzanne Clark stated in an internal memo that Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) President Carolyn Cawley is set to leave “the Chamber at the end of the summer.”

Shortly after the Hill‘s report came out Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) blasted the Chamber of Commerce in a post on X as “a front service for woke corporations,” adding that it had “accepted millions from a George Soros organization.”