The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the chief of the nation’s largest organized labor group, setting aside their often bitter, issued a joint statement Wednesday praising President Obama’s call for infrastructure investment and vowing to work together on the effort.
U.S. Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in their rare joint statement that they are “standing together” to support plans to create jobs and want Republican and Democratic lawmakers to work together on the shared goal.
“America’s working families and business community stand united in applauding President Obama’s call to create jobs and grow our economy through investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” Donohue and Trumka said.
The unusual statement was a sharp contrast with sometimes highly charged rhetoric over the past year about policies and regulations that led some business officials to decry the administration as anti-business. Donohue has been at the center of the business world’s criticism of the administration and has called its pro-labor policies a major threat to business.
But the White House has sought to build better relations with the business community since Democrats suffered major losses in last November’s elections, and President Obama made jobs and infrastructure linchpins of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO standing together to support job creation, we hope that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will also join together to build America’s infrastructure,” Trumka and Donohue said.