Chamber pressures red-state Dems to back Trump on cutting regs

Red-state Democrats in the Senate are facing pressure to support President Trump's push for regulatory reform.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday released TV ads calling on Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampNorth Dakota rep: Trump wants me to run for Senate No room for amnesty in our government spending bill Trump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing MORE (D-N.D.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocratic Homeland Security members request additional DHS nominee testimony Senate panel delays vote on Trump’s Homeland Security pick Steve Israel: ‘We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight’ MORE (D-Mo.) to vote for the Regulatory Accountability Act, which requires federal agencies to issue the “least costly” rules that still accomplish the task they set out to regulate.

The six-figure television campaign will run in North Dakota and Missouri, two states that overwhelmingly voted for Trump in November.

“If a company hadn’t updated their operating model since 1946, they’d be out of business. In the case of government regulation, it’s led thousands of companies strangled by red tape,” the Chamber says as the camera pans to a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign at a local business.

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“The Regulatory Accountability Act will reform how bureaucrats regulate business, saving billions, stimulating growth, and holding D.C., accountable,” the ad reads as a young couple holds up a “Come In, We’re Open” sign in front of their store.

“70 years of dysfunction is enough.”

The House passed the Regulatory Accountability Act in January, and Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate GOP reveals different approach on tax reform GOP senators: Moore should step aside if allegations true Senate set for clash with House on tax bill MORE (R-Ohio) is pushing the legislation in the Senate.

The GOP is rolling back some of the more controversial Obama-era regulations on their own through the Congressional Review Act, which requires a simple majority in the Senate. But the GOP does not have the numbers to pass the Regulatory Accountability Act without Democratic support.

The GOP has a 52-seat majority in the Senate, so it would need at least eight Democrats on board to advance the bill.

Heitkamp and McCaskill are among the 10 Senate Democrats who are facing reelection in 2018 and are from states that backed Trump in the presidential election.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is working behind the scenes in the upper chamber to build support from a handful of moderate Democrats for regulatory reform legislation.