Congressman Returns U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Award Over Chamber’s Pro-Amnesty Stance

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Kerry Bentivolio

Frustrated over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens living and working in the United States, Congressman Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) handed back an award the organization had bestowed on him earlier this year.

Bentivolio, along with many other sitting Congressmen, received the Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award in March — an honorific that goes to elected leaders on the same policy page, more or less, as the Chamber. But Bentivolio, after considering the implications of the Chamber’s amnesty position as tens of thousands of illegal immigrants flock to the Nation’s southern border, decided last week to give the award back.

He apparently had a lot on his mind, because he lit into the Chamber with a fury.

“The U.S. Chamber is in the pocket of Communist China and big companies seeking cheap labor in the United States,” Bentivolio’s office said in a statement explaining the move. “We think it is morally repugnant for the chamber to pursue, as a matter of public policy, initiatives which exploit the poor and oppressed, just so they can keep labor costs down for their fortune 500 member companies.”

Bentivolio’s chief of staff further torched the Chamber last Thursday, telling The Daily Caller “they call it the Spirit of Enterprise award, not the Spirit of Free Enterprise award. Crony Capitalism is alive and well at the Chamber of Commerce.”

Bentivolio, who’s serving his first term in Congress, may be looking for a political lift as he heads into a late summer primary against a party challenger who’s polling 22 points ahead, has the support of the GOP establishment, and has outspent Bentivolio 20-1.

That doesn’t change the message his award give-back sends, though. At least Michigan voters know where he stands.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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