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'They've sold out': House GOP leader says he doesn't want US Chamber of Commerce endorsement

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Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the remarks after the USCC backed nearly two dozen Dems

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)/(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he does not want the endorsement of the United States Chamber of Commerce, accusing the pro-business group of selling out by backing nearly two dozen Democrats this election cycle.

What are the details?

Earlier this week, The Hill reported that the USCC was set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats for reelection, and eye-opening move for the organization typically known for backing Republicans. The group is also giving its seal of approval to 29 freshman GOP members.

During an interview on Fox News' "Lou Dobbs Tonight," the host asked McCarthy for his take on "the [U.S.] Chamber of Commerce choosing to fund Democratic — left-wing Democrats, point-of-fact — along with all the [Republicans in name only] Republicans."

"Well, I'll tell you this: I don't want the U.S. Chamber's endorsement," McCarthy replied, "because they have sold out."

The minority leader told viewers to listen to local chambers of commerce, but continued to lambaste the national chamber.

"It is hypocrisy that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would endorse these Democrats that are part of this socialist agenda that is driving this country out and is fighting this president," he continued. "Remember, these are the people who voted for impeachment."

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Fox News reported that "the move to support some Democrats by the USCC, which calculates its endorsements largely based on how frequently members of Congress support chamber-backed legislation, has drawn at least some pushback from the right-leaning factions within the pro-business lobbying group."

According to Politico, the USCC has been consumed with "turmoil" over its backing of Democrats.

The outlet reported:

There is particular concern the Democrats in question do not have the pro-business record an endorsement would convey. State Chamber of Oklahoma President Chad Warmington wrote a letter Tuesday to national Chamber leaders fervently opposing the proposal to back Rep. Kendra Horn, perhaps the most vulnerable House Democrat in the country.

Citing the Oklahoma congresswoman's voting record on energy issues, Warmington wrote, "I question how the U.S. Chamber could endorse a candidate who consistently voted against the largest industry in Oklahoma, employing over 90,000 workers throughout the state. That is hardly a pro-business record. I am also concerned the U.S. Chamber would endorse a congresswoman that voted in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who are not pro-business nearly 90 percent of the time."

Neil Bradley, the USCC's executive vice president, addressed the criticism his organization has received this week, tweeting, "While some focus on @USChamber endorsing 23 freshmen Ds, take note, Chamber also just endorsed GOP challengers to 4 freshmen Ds b/c they were below 70% on scorecard & challengers earned endorsement. Announcements coming soon. We also continue to look at other races. #notpartisan"

He added, "Also, @USChamber just endorsed 29 freshmen Rs who are up for re-election. That is over 90% of freshmen R class," repeating the hashtag, "#notpartisan."

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