State Republicans tout their “A” rating from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce

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by Brandon Jarvis

State Republicans in Virginia today are championing the “A” average rating they received from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“The Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Legislative Report Card grades members of the Virginia General Assembly on their voting record on key business issues, reporting legislators’ support for initiatives that will spur long-term economic growth and their willingness to stand up against legislation that would harm our business climate.”

The Chamber awarded seven “F’s” to House Democrats. The average grade for House Republicans was an “A,” with 19 members receiving an “A+” and 10 members receiving perfect scores of 100.

According to their website, the Virginia Chamber tracked more than 600 bills and took a position on over 160 key bills during the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.

Altria, Anthem, Appalachian Power, Bank of America, and Alion are listed as some of the major investors behind the Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors includes presidents and CEO’s from a lot of the major companies in the area including a partner from McGuireWoods LLP, the president of Union Bankshare, and a senior director of Dominion Energy.

Republicans have historically supported legislation that reduces the costs for employers, with the idea that if the employer makes more money, they will pay their employees more and invest into their company. Democrats tend to focus more on legislation to help the employees, often noting that the employers don’t always invest in their own workforce or business, instead they pocket more profit. The Democrats received an average rating of a “D” from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

The economy in Virginia is looking good – Ralph Northam noted earlier this week that the unemployment rate of 2.9% in Virginia is the lowest it has been in 10 years. Both parties have been trying to take credit for the strong economy over the past year. Back in July, Republican Speaker of the House Kirk Cox gave the credit to his party at the state and national level. “Virginia ended the fiscal year with a revenue surplus of over $500 million thanks in large part to responsible budgeting and strong economic growth spurred by Republican policies at the state and national level.”

Governor Northam (D), placed credit on workforce investments. “I am particularly encouraged by the strong growth in payroll withholding, which is a sign that our investments in building a stronger economy and a more prepared workforce are paying off for Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement.”

Republican leaders spoke on receiving the high ratings from the Chamber of Commerce.

“I am honored, yet not surprised, to see Republicans in the House of Delegates receive such high marks from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce on their Legislative Report Card,”said Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “We have been focused on issues that encourage businesses to start and expand here in Virginia. This year alone we defeated more than $700 million in tax increases, expanded access to broadband, and passed legislation setting up a process to eliminate 1,200 regulations in the next three years.”

Cox added, “According to the Chamber, the legislature defeated hundreds of anti-business bills that would increase the cost of doing business in Virginia by $6.3 billion and cost 150,000 jobs. For Virginia businesses and workers, a Democratic majority would come at a steep cost.”

“This should be a clear sign that the socialist roots growing deeper within the House Democratic Caucus are a clear threat to what we have worked for decades to create in Virginia,” said Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “Under Republican leadership in the House, Virginia is consistently recognized as one of the best states in the country for business. We have worked hard to keep taxes low while still protecting our Triple A bond rating.”

“The Chamber is recognizing House Republicans for protecting our business climate while calling out our Democrat colleagues for pushing policies and regulations that will raise taxes on Virginians and stifle job creation,” said Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “I hope this is a wake up call to people of Northern Virginia that should Democrats ever take over the House of Delegates, our business climate as we know it will be forever changed.”

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