Business & Lobbying

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 Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (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.

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 Axne (D-Iowa) and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) to vote against the reconciliation bill.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (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.

Tags Americans for Prosperity Bernie Sanders Charles Koch Cindy Axne Jeanne Shaheen Joe Manchin Josh Gottheimer Kyrsten Sinema Lobbying Maggie Hassan Reconciliation

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