Will U.S. Chamber spending impact student loan vote?

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups sent a letter to Senate leadership yesterday opposing the “pay-for” in a bill that would maintain current interest rates for student loans. That pay-for would cover the cost by subjecting “S Corporations” to payroll taxes, something they currently don’t pay.

When the Senate begins debate on this legislation, it’s important to note that nine Republican members benefited from a combined $13.6 million in spending by Chamber in 2010, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) received nearly $1.5 million in assistance from the Chamber.
  • The Chamber spent nearly $1.8 million to help Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and attack his opponent Robin Carnahan.
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) got over $1.2 million in assistance from the Chamber.
  • Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) received $1 million in help from the Chamber in his special election.
  • While it’s unclear if Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will return to the Senate for this vote due to medical reasons, the Chamber spent nearly $1.7 million to support him and attack his Democratic opponent in 2010.
  • New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) benefited from over $2.6 million in Chamber spending in 2010, both attacking her opponent Rep. Paul Hodes and supporting her.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) received $748,000 in help from the Chamber. After his election, Johnson visited the Chamber to personally thank them for their help.
  • The Chamber spent exactly $2 million to assist Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) 2010 election.
  • Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) benefited from $500,000 in spending by the Chamber.

Will this spending play a role when Senators are deciding which way to vote?