The GOP infighting over blocking President Obama's executive actions on immigration through a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security isn't over yet.
A week after the House cleared legislation to avoid a DHS shutdown without provisions to revoke the executive actions, a conservative group with ties to anti-establishment GOP candidates announced it raised more than $90,000 to help three lawmakers targeted by a group affiliated with House GOP leadership.
The American Action Network, which has ties to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the rest of the House Republican leadership team, is spending more than $400,000 on TV ads aimed at three conservative House members who opposed funding DHS without attaching provisions to undo President Obama's executive actions to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation.
But the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), which aligns with GOP hard-liner candidates, said Tuesday that it has raised more money than the $51,000 the American Action Network has spent on media so far in the three lawmakers' districts.
The 30-second TV ads from the American Action Network are aimed at Reps. Tim HuelskampTimothy (Tim) Alan HuelskampManchin may be the only one who can save the Hyde Amendment Democratic-linked group runs ads in Kansas GOP Senate primary Cure for cancer would become more likely if FDA streamlined the drug approval process MORE (R-Kan.), Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineSpaceX all-civilian crew returns to Earth, successfully completing 3-day mission SpaceX all-civilian crew calls Tom Cruise from space How will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? MORE (R-Okla.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member Garland defends school board memo from GOP 'snitch line' attacks Fight breaks out between Jordan, Nadler over rules about showing video at Garland hearing MORE (R-Ohio). Jordan is the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, an upstart group formed earlier this year of hard-line conservatives that led the charge on the DHS funding fight. The American Action Network also plans national ad buys on conservative radio programs like those hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
SCF President Ken Cuccinelli accused the GOP leadership of trying to oust members of their own party in a primary.
"American Action Network attacked these conservatives to punish them for opposing Speaker John Boehner's decision to fund the president's executive amnesty," Cuccinelli said in a statement. "Speaker Boehner and his allies may think they can use these attack ads to defeat these congressmen in a future primary, but they're wrong."
In a joint statement, the three lawmakers described the American Action Network, which spent nearly $9 million on behalf of GOP candidates in the 2014 elections, as "pro-amnesty."
"A pro-amnesty, establishment-led political machine is trying to silence conservatives, but we will not abandon the Constitution and give up the fight to stop Obama’s unlawful acts," Bridenstine said.
"If pro-amnesty groups want to come after me for standing up to the president's unlawful actions, they can certainly do that. But the American people will see through it," Jordan added.
Huelskamp argued that the center-right group is targeting the wrong people and warned it is merely inflaming the far right.
"American Action Network is not attacking President Obama or his unlawful action; they’re attacking those of us that are standing up for the Constitution," said Huelskamp. "What they don’t realize is their efforts only strengthen the conservative grassroots."
Both Huelskamp and Bridenstine were among the 25 House Republicans who opposed Boehner's reelection for a third term as Speaker in January.