Obama may address US Chamber early next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is considering addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year, taking his case to one of the most prominent critics of his agenda.

White House and chamber officials said Saturday that the chamber has invited Obama to speak to the trade association as soon as January. The White House is examining its schedule, a White House official said.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans have not been finalized. The chamber had initially planned to invite Obama to speak at a Dec. 2 chamber jobs summit. That event has been canceled due to circumstances unrelated to Obama.

The chamber and the president have clashed over health care and climate change policy. The chamber spent millions campaigning and lobbying against Obama’s signature health care overhaul. It also spent more than $30 million in the midterm election in political ads aimed mostly at Democratic congressional candidates.

This week, chamber president Thomas Donohue vowed to fight administration regulations, especially in health care, environment and banking.

But Donohue also softened the chamber’s criticism of the administration and offered to work with Obama on trade and job creation.

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