R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
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R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for Government Affairs, is the second ranking officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the organization's senior government and political affairs executive.
Josten is the senior manager of six major divisions within the U.S. Chamber: Congressional and Public Affairs; Economic Policy; Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs; Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits; National Security & Emergency Preparedness; and Political Affairs and Federation Relations.
Josten is considered one of American business' most effective strategists in the ongoing battle with the trial lawyer lobby, from product liability issues to class action and tort reform. He served as co-chair of the Coalition to Save Medicare and founded the Employers for a Healthy Economy coalition and is sought after as one of the most knowledgeable and articulate pro-business advocates in the health care debate.
Josten is the key architect of the U.S. Chamber's resurgent position as leader of the business community's policy and grassroots activities in the 104th through the 111th Congresses. In the 104th Congress, when House and Senate leaders sought a prominent figure in the business community to head their balanced budget coalition—the key agenda item in the battle against big government—they turned to Josten and the U.S. Chamber, calling him "uniquely qualified to lead this major campaign." His persistent efforts resulted in the passage of the first balanced budget in 29 years and the first tax cut in 16 years.
In the 107th Congress, Josten co-founded the Tax Relief Coalition and helped enact the $1.35 trillion tax relief package, the first major tax cut in a generation. As the nation confronted its first energy crisis in a quarter century, Josten helped form the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth (Alliance), a coalition that worked to enact a comprehensive national energy strategy, including the Energy Policy Act and the Energy Independence Security Act. Josten serves as the chief spokesperson for the Alliance.
Josten continues to develop new leadership opportunities for the U.S. Chamber while fighting to protect the interests of its diverse membership from the costly excesses of big government. At the national level, he succeeded in organizing The Coalition: Americans Working for Real Change, uniting many disparate, single-issue business and citizens groups under a broad-based umbrella to combat the legislative and political activities of the AFL-CIO and its efforts to unseat pro-business members of Congress.
At the U.S. Chamber, he has invested heavily in new technologies to enhance the Grassroots and Advocacy Programs (VoteForBusiness.com), resulting in a state-of-the-art legislative mobilization machine for American business.
Josten is a frequent commentator on national legislative, political, and economic issues affecting the business community, its employees, and the economy. He is quoted regularly by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, FORTUNE, and National Journal, among others, and he is often interviewed by the major television networks, including Meet the Press and talk radio.
Josten was recognized by Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, as one of “The Politics Fabulous Fifty”—one of the 50 most influential Washingtonians in electing congressional candidates. In addition, he was named one of POLITICO’S “50 to Watch” as a D.C. standout “who will be a force to reckon with in the 2012 cycle.”
He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Committee of Public Affairs for The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and is a board member of the United States Capitol Historical Society.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.