Club for Growth squeezes front-line Democrats on reconciliation plan

Hill illustration

The anti-tax Club for Growth is squeezing six front-line House Democrats on the party’s multitrillion-dollar reconciliation deal as the party grapples with how to pay for it.

The GOP outside group is dropping a $250,000 ad buy in the swing districts represented by Reps. Cindy Axne (Iowa), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Jared Golden (Maine), Chris Pappas (N.H.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Abigail Spanberger (Va.). The ads, which have not been previously reported, hit the reconciliation package as a “middle class tax hike” that would allow “snooping” by the IRS.

“Despite what Speaker Pelosi is trying to sell House Democrats, the fact is people will reject this massive tax and spend, government spying legislation. We are asking constituents in six key districts to contact their Representatives and tell them to vote no on raising their taxes and giving the IRS almost unfettered access to your personal and private financial information,” said David McIntosh, Club for Growth president. 

The $250,000 ad buy is part of $2 million the Club for Growth plans on spending opposing the legislation. The ads will start airing on television in the state starting Sunday and will run through Oct. 15. 

The ad campaign comes as Republicans look to ramp up pressure on Democrats, who are haggling over the price tag of the sprawling social spending legislation.

Democrats had initially looked to pass a bill with a price tag of $3.5 trillion, but President Biden has said that will likely drop to between $1.9 trillion and $2.3 trillion. 

Republicans have specifically knocked Democrats over a proposal to pay for the bill by increasing the amount of information financial institutions report to the IRS about bank accounts.

Democrats have said the proposal, which would mandate banks inform the IRS on bank accounts with inflows and outflows above $600, would be a way to crack down on tax cheating.

The offices of five of the House Democrats did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill, but Axne in a statement said she does not support the IRS measure. 

“It is completely outrageous to suggest that the Treasury Department’s proposal on bank disclosures is something that I support – let alone that it’s mine. While I certainly think we need to be looking at ways to crack down on wealthy tax dodgers, I oppose implementing something that would so obviously scoop up the routine transactions, like paychecks, of millions of middle-class families and create massive amounts of red tape for our small community banks and lenders,” she said in a statement.

Republicans have looked to ramp up pressure on vulnerable Democrats as the midterm cycle escalates. All six of the Democrats targeted represent battleground districts, with Schrader enjoying the broadest margin of 7 points. However, at least some of their districts are expected to change with redistricting.

Tags Abigail Spanberger Carolyn Bourdeaux Chris Pappas Cindy Axne Jared Golden Joe Biden Kurt Schrader

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