U.S. Chamber of Commerce vows to oppose GOP's far-right wing
Thomas Donohue has a message for ultraconservative GOP members who shut down the government last year: Don't count on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for support during midterm elections this fall.
Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" after his annual "State of American Business" speech, Donohue, the chamber's CEO, made a stark distinction between tea party Republicans and the group of far-right-wing Senate and House Republicans who orchestrated the government shutdown last September, without naming them.
Donohue called original tea party members "good people" who cared about cost controls and sensible taxation.
"It's the group of people that have hitched their trailer to the tea party name and want to come to Washington and shut down the government and not pay our debts and do that sort of thing," Donohue said Wednesday on "Squawk on the Street" "That we're not going to be supporting."
(Read more: Tea party is not dead, says GOP strategist)
Donohue added: "We're going to basically support people who believe in the enterprise system and believe that opportunity is fundamental to people succeeding."
Donohue also promised to make immigration reform a major priority in 2014. He believes lawmakers on boths sides of the aisle will revamp immigration laws before the fall as both Republicans and Democrats gear up for elections.
(Read more: New prospects in 2014 for an immigration overhaul)
"Democrats and Republicans alike want to go home for the elections having done something," Donohue said.
—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at
@jmorganteen and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street."