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Missouri Republican mulling Senate race launches statewide ad slamming Dem spending bill

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) is seen during a press conference after a closed-door House Republican conference meeting on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Greg Nash

GOP Rep. Jason Smith (Mo.), who has previously said he is considering launching a U.S. Senate run, released an online ad this week slamming House Democrats who are hoping to secure trillions of dollars to advance key components of President Biden’s domestic agenda. 

The ad, titled “Farm Sense,” opens with the ranking member of the House Budget Committee saying, “these lunatic liberals in Washington want to spend trillions on a new stimulus.” 

The video showed Smith, who referred to himself as a “hillbilly from Dent County,” walking along a farm, arguing, “the liberal special interests are lining up at the trough, chowing down on your tax dollars,” before showing footage of cows eating from a pile of hay. 

The House is expected to hold a vote this week on the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill this week, though progressive Democrats are warning that they will oppose the measure unless a larger, $3.5 trillion social spending package is also considered. 

Democrats have said that they would pay for the $3.5 trillion plan, which they hope to pass through reconciliation, by increasing taxes on large corporations and wealthy classes, though Smith asserted in Monday’s ad that this plan would be “killing jobs” and raise “prices even higher.” 

“You’ve worked hard, paid your taxes and saved for retirement,” he continued. “Now, Washington Democrats want to tax your savings, doing this to your retirement,” which he followed with footage of burning hay. 

The congressman ended the ad with, “I’m Jason Smith and I’ll stand up to the liberals trying to give away the farm.” 

In a statement to The Hill, Smith said, “I released this ad because all Missourians need to know how damaging this reconciliation bill will be to their future.”

“I’m doing everything I can to help defeat this socialist wishlist,” he added. 

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion public works proposal, which passed through the Senate last month. Moderate Democrats are hoping to pass the package without the larger “family” benefits bill backed by more liberal House members. 

However, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), warned Tuesday that the bipartisan infrastructure will fail if Democratic moderates do not also commit to the larger reconciliation package. 

Smith’s campaign is seizing on the spending fight as he has previously indicated that he is mulling a Senate run, telling Missouri-based radio station KFTK-FM earlier this month, “I’m definitely considering it… But like I’ve said all along, I’ve still got my work to do.”

He currently faces a single primary opponent for his House position, while he would face a crowded field in Missouri for the seat of retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). 

Those currently campaigning in the Senate race include Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) and former Gov. Eric Greitens (R). 

Tags 2022 midterm Biden infrastructure bill budget reconciliation bill campaign ad House Jan Schakowsky Jason Smith Joe Biden Missouri Nancy Pelosi Roy Blunt Senate Senate candidate
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