Koch-backed group launches 7-figure ad blitz opposing $3.5T bill

Koch-backed group launches 7-figure ad blitz opposing $3.5T bill
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Americans for Prosperity (AFP), an advocacy group backed by GOP mega-donor Charles Koch, launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign Thursday attacking Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending package.

The connected TV, radio, direct mail and online ad blitz argues that the bill would lead to more government control and higher inflation. It will target 25 Democrats, including moderates who have expressed reservations about the $3.5 trillion price tag such as Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden: Negotiating assault weapons ban more difficult than infrastructure, reconciliation deal Biden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBiden: Negotiating assault weapons ban more difficult than infrastructure, reconciliation deal Biden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks MORE (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerModerates split over climate plans in Democrats' spending package Bleak midterm outlook shadows bitter Democratic battle Democrats downplay deadlines on Biden's broad spending plan MORE (D-N.J.).

“A government takeover of our economy is a fundamental departure from the spirit of entrepreneurialism we’ve relied on for generations to drive prosperity, and there’s only one outcome — unmitigated economic disaster that will be difficult to reverse,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement.

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In recent months, AFP has orchestrated an extensive effort to oppose both Democrats’ reconciliation package and the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which it argues doesn’t make sufficient changes to regulations needed to improve roads and bridges.

The group’s most recent ad campaign comes as House Democrats prepare to vote on the infrastructure bill Monday. Democratic leaders say the bill must be passed alongside the party-line spending package that invests in climate, child care and other Democratic priorities.

The Democrats’ reconciliation package has come under fire from business lobbying groups and conservative organizations over its proposed tax increases on large corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as its measure to allow the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday announced a six-figure ad campaign urging moderate House Democrats to oppose the $3.5 trillion bill after warning that it would revoke endorsements for Democrats who vote for the measure.

The National Federation of Independent Business, a GOP-aligned small business group, also launched a six-figure ad campaign Wednesday urging Rep. Cindy AxneCindy AxneDemocratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Club for Growth squeezes front-line Democrats on reconciliation plan Biden meets with vulnerable House Democrats with agenda in limbo  MORE (D-Iowa) and Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (D-N.H.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanPoll: New Hampshire Senate race tight Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Democratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races MORE (D-N.H.) to vote against the reconciliation bill.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants MORE (I-Vt.) has punched back at the campaigns to sink the spending packages filled with Democratic priorities.

“This is what oligarchy and a corrupt political system are all about," he tweeted in response to a corporate lobbying blitz announced last month.  "The rich and large corporations get richer, and their lobbyists do everything possible to protect their wealth and greed. Not this time."

--Updated at 2 p.m.