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McCarthy Working K Street Ahead of Tax Vote

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, as House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and House Speaker John Boehner listen. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

July 19, 2012
As House Republicans prepare to vote on extending the Bush tax cuts later this month, a top House leader has been quietly courting key business lobbying groups to bring them, and the grassroots armies they command, on board with the effort.

Since June, staffers in House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's office have been holding meetings, one as recently as this week, with groups including the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, the National Federation of Independent Business the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and Boeing, according to lobbyists and Hill staffers familiar with the meetings. 

Brian Worth, McCarthy's coalitions director, has been leading the meetings, designed to bring the business community's considerable lobbying clout to bear on the tax vote. But without a bill, the lobbyists needed something to sell their members before they could turn them loose on the Hill. 

"It's hard to turn on a bunch of frightened business leaders, and they are all frightened, without a target," said a senior business lobbyist. 

So late last month, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp penned an op-ed where he promised, "House Republicans will act before August to prevent job-killing tax increases, clearly state our principles for comprehensive tax reform and lay out an expedited process for Congress to complete comprehensive tax reform next year."

And that was enough to get business groups mobilized.  

"You're not getting tax reform done in the next six months so this is the bridge you got to have," said a GOP House leadership aide.

House leaders are also organizing a "Stop the Tax Hike Day" on July 27 where members will do events with businesses in their districts to put a face on the policy ahead of the planned vote the week of July 29.

After the jump: a list of the ads, letters and actions business groups are taking, and plan to take, before the vote. 
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