Labor, environmental groups in new ad press lawmakers for bigger package

Labor, environmental groups in new ad press lawmakers for bigger package
© Greg Nash

A coalition of labor and environmental groups is placing a six-figure ad buy in five states calling on members of Congress to pass President BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE’s sweeping economic agenda.

The ad buys from the BlueGreen Alliance total about $450,000 and will begin running on Oct. 4 in key states to demand members of Congress pass a robust reconciliation package that funds manufacturing and clean energy jobs, makes investments in the care economy, and other priorities of the group's members.   

The ads are running in states home to key moderate senators, like Arizona and West Virginia. Democrats are currently wrestling to get Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPragmatic bipartisanship – not hard left intolerance – is Democrats' surest path back to power With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-Ariz.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden faces new pressure from climate groups after Powell pick Five ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one MORE (D-W.Va.) on board with a robust reconciliation package. The ads are also running in Montana, Colorado and Virginia.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Families and communities across America are ready for Congress to act for working people,” Jason Walsh, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, said in a statement to The Hill. “We need a Build Back Better package that builds a clean, thriving, and equitable future, and we are calling on members of Congress to stand with workers and to pass a recovery plan that delivers on the promise of good-paying jobs and cleaner, healthier communities.” 

The ads will run on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, on television and radio, and on news sites and print outlets in the targeted states.

“If Washington can’t get this done, it’s our families who are going to be paying the price,” Steve Williams, the Democratic mayor of Huntington, W.Va., says in a video ad running in West Virginia.

The BlueGreen Alliance is a coalition of labor and environmental groups. Its members include the United Steelworkers, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club.

The push comes as Democrats wrangle over the details of the reconciliation bill, which will cost as much as $3.5 trillion. Manchin and Sinema have objected to the price tag, and progressives in the House have refused to vote in favor of the Senate-passed infrastructure bill unless the reconciliation bill is also passed.

Manchin revealed Thursday that he was willing to vote for a package that costs as much as $1.5 trillion – a far cry from the top line that Biden and other Democrats have cited.

Democrats widely believe the overall cost of the package will come down, but it's not clear what parts of it will be cut in order to accommodate a lower price tag. 

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Bipartisan success in the Senate signals room for more compromise The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (D-Calif.) was forced to delay a vote on the infrastructure bill on Thursday. White House officials and congressional leaders are now trying to hash out a deal that will leave all sides happy, so that both the infrastructure and reconciliation packages can advance.