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Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Eric Piermont/Getty Images

Tom Donohue, the longtime CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will deliver a speech Thursday urging bipartisan support for issues that Democrats hold dear — like climate change and infrastructure investment, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the largest business organization in the U.S., and some of Donohue's remarks will be a departure for a group that has, under his leadership, "battled environmental regulations, restrictions on cigarette packaging, workplace antidiscrimination rules and minimum-wage requirements," as WSJ put it.

The big picture: The remarks Donohue plans to deliver today — provided first to Axios — will call for the passing of "35 bipartisan bills that can help address climate change through innovation and investment."

  • "Inaction is not an option," Donohue will argue in the speech, which will be carried live at 10 a.m. Eastern on the Chamber's website. "So let’s flip the conventional wisdom that nothing gets done in an election year."
  • The remarks will stress bipartisan action, and follow a meeting with "a dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers to talk about all the things we want to do together in 2020."
  • Donohue also will argue for immigration reform — though the Chamber has long advocated letting more immigrants come to the U.S., to help companies fill jobs.

Between the lines: The speech marks the latest break from the staunch support for Republicans that has been a hallmark of the organization for years, after the Chamber got a cold-shoulder from President Trump, as the WSJ detailed last year.

The backstory: Last April, the Chamber was dubbed by the Washington Post as "the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Washington."

  • The Post article said it had 499 full-time employees, a 95% renewal rate among its members (though it doesn't publish a list, there are said to be 3 million). It also said that members pay $100,000 or more in annual dues — and that the Chamber pulled in $233 million in revenue (with no debt) in 2018.
  • Donohue is set to leave the organization in 2022 after relinquishing his role as president last year. His departure came amid a WSJ investigation that found he spent lavishly on corporate jets provided by the Chamber for both professional and personal trips.

The bottom line: In 2019 the Chamber began working to move away from the GOP and embrace more centrist policies, as the lobbying group clashed with Trump on some positions, most notably immigration, trade and climate change.

Go deeper

Senate Democrats demand answers on FBI's Kavanaugh probe

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats are demanding that the FBI hand over "all records and communications" related to the FBI tip line set up to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a nominee in 2018.

Why it matters: The ask comes after the FBI revealed it received more than 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh when he was awaiting Senate confirmation amid sexual assault allegations. Only the most "relevant" of these tips were forwarded to the Trump White House.

Chip relief on the horizon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Good news: The worst of the chip supply crunch might be near.

The other side: Here's the bad news... CEOs say chips totally flowing like normal is still a ways out.

Trump ally Tom Barrack pays $250 million bond to get out of jail

Tom Barrack speaking at a symposium in Tokyo in March 2019. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Real estate investor Tom Barrack paid a federal court a bond of $250 million to get out of jail on Friday while awaiting trial after he was arrested and charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, AP reports.

Driving the news: A federal judge also ordered Barrack, a longtime ally of former President Trump and chair of his inaugural committee, to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet at all times and barred him from transferring funds overseas.