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 ManchinOn The Money — Powell, Yellen face pressure on inflation Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems seek to preserve climate provisions Democrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill  MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBudowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 MORE (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerFive takeaways: House passes Biden's sweeping benefits bill Dems brace for score on massive Biden bill Democrats bullish they'll reach finish line this week 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 AxneTop House Democratic group launches six-figure ad campaign to sell infrastructure package State Democrat group teams up with federal lawmakers to elect down-ballot candidates Conservative group targeting House Democrats over SALT positions MORE (D-Iowa) and Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Sununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire MORE (D-N.H.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanBiden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans Constant threats to government funding fail the American public Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-N.H.) to vote against the reconciliation bill.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersSymone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal Postal Service expansion into banking services misguided 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.