Unions target GOP with sequester ads

Unions are launching a new round of television ads aimed at Republican lawmakers, decrying the looming budget sequester.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association have sponsored the six-figure ad buy that will air in Washington and several other markets next week. The ads blame Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and several other GOP lawmakers for the coming budget cuts.

“These ads will let the public know that Republican leaders are responsible for failing to stop reckless automatic cuts that will hurt families and our economy,” said Peter Colavito, SEIU’s director of government relations, in a statement.

Along with McConnell, the ads will go after Reps. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.). Online ads will also be part of the campaign.

The ads ask lawmakers how they want to be remembered by their constituents.

“How will you be remembered Senator McConnell? For serving honorably? Or for inflicting pain on millions, just to protect tax loopholes for corporations and the richest few?” the ad asks.

“Allowing sequestration to go into effect is a complete abdication of their responsibility as lawmakers, and it is how history will remember them,” said Chuck Loveless, AFSCME’s federal government affairs director.

Unions have protested against the sequester. The sequester’s $85 billion of budget cuts are set to go into effect on Friday, and will force furloughs across the federal government.

Labor’s latest round of ads follows a campaign launched by unions last year that targeted lawmakers over the "fiscal cliff."