They say politics makes strange bedfellows but what's happening in Washington lately is more like a type of estrangement. A sizable minority in the Republican party is opposing many business positions, says Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.
It's the faction of the Tea Party and its sympathizers that oppose reauthorization of the Import-Export Bank, (which helps finance sales of U.S. exports to international buyers), immigration reform and funding for the Highway Trust fund. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce even favors raising the federal gasoline tax to replenish the fund.
"This Republican minority does not believe in crony capitalism," says Valliere. "Even Republicans at the base don't want Washington doing any special favors for business. Grassroots America still has heartburn over the bailouts."
And Republicans can't ignore what happened to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Virginia. He was defeated in the Republican primary by a Tea Party challenger who was more conservative.
So are Democrats benefiting from this new divide between Republicans and business? Possibly. "The Export-Import Bank may run out of funding by the end of September [and] you have a lot of Democrats supporting funding for this," says Valliere. "It may create a very odd alliance of Democrats and big business."
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