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Ryan-aligned group pressures vulnerable Republicans to support healthcare bill

Ryan-aligned group pressures vulnerable Republicans to support healthcare bill
© Greg Nash

A group allied with House GOP leaders is targeting Republicans in competitive House districts with an ad campaign ahead of a potential vote this week on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

American Action Network (AAN) is launching digital ads on Monday through video, display ads and landing pages urging lawmakers to support the GOP leadership-backed bill, titled the American Health Care Act.

AAN has spent more than $10 million over the course of its advocacy campaign for the healthcare plan. It has targeted Republicans representing districts carried by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE and in territory friendly to President Trump.

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Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money MORE (R-Wis.) and his leadership team are aiming for a Thursday vote on the legislation. But it’s unclear whether the measure has enough votes to pass, due to concerns from the centrist and conservative wings of the House GOP.  

A sample digital ad says, “Tell Congress it’s time for better health care. Pass the American Health Care Act.”

“As conservatives, this is the moment we have been fighting for over the past eight years. It’s time to pass President Trump and Speaker Ryan’s conservative health care plan that will provide access to quality, affordable health care for all,” AAN executive director Corry Bliss said.

Two recent rounds of AAN’s TV ads and robocalls were aimed at skeptical conservatives, primarily members of the House Freedom Caucus, who said they will vote against the bill in its current form because they don't think it goes far enough to fully repeal the 2010 law.

But the latest round of ads target 29 House members who mostly represent districts expected to be competitive in the 2018 midterm elections. Some lawmakers on the list have said they oppose the legislation, such as Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), or who have expressed concerns, such as Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.) and Leonard Lance (N.J.).

The ads will also air in a handful of districts represented by members of leadership, including Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOvernight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Lawmakers discuss extending expired tax breaks in spending bill Dow falls more than 1,000 in biggest daily point-drop ever MORE (Texas).