Chamber Foundation president leaves amid congressional scrutiny

Carolyn Cawley is stepping down as president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Hill.

“Sharing the news that Carolyn will be leaving the House at the end of the summer is bittersweet,” House Speaker Suzanne Clark wrote in the memo. “We began thoughtful conversations earlier this year about her desire to focus on a much more personal endeavor.”

Cawley's departure also follows a letter she and Clark received earlier this month from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) in which she dismissed donations to the foundation from a left-wing nonprofit , the Tides Foundation, questioned.

The Chamber previously told The Hill that the investigation was based on a “factually incorrect” story from the conservative newspaper Breitbart, which first reported that the Tides Foundation provided grants totaling more than $12 million to the Chamber had announced.

The country's largest pro-business lobby group also said the Tides Foundation was merely a vehicle for funds from corporate donors, and not the donor itself, but defended their right to refuse to disclose the source of the funds.

Michael Carney, senior vice president of the Foundation, has been named president of the foundation, according to the memo.

“It is a testament to her commitment to the Foundation and the Chamber that a smooth transition has been a priority,” Clark wrote in the memo.

A House spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

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