The Senate Conservatives Fund on Monday slammed Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive issues that will define the months until the midterms Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE (Ky.) for negotiating a fiscal deal that leaves ObamaCare largely intact. [WATCH VIDEO]
“Now McConnell is working with Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidVoters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama Mellman: Are independents really so independent? MORE on a plan to fund Obamacare and raise the debt limit,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, in a statement.
“Not only will this plan force Americans to pay for a law they oppose, it will force them to borrow more money to do it,” he said.
Senate Republicans are expected to hold a conference meeting Tuesday to discuss the emerging deal.
Republicans who vote for it, however, could face critical television ads from the Senate Conservative Fund, which has targeted about a half-dozen GOP senators over the ObamaCare defunding fight in recent months.
“So now Mitch McConnell is negotiating the Republican surrender,” Hoskins said. “He gave the Democrats a blank check back in July when he signaled he would do anything to avoid a shutdown and now Democrats can demand whatever they want. It's humiliating.
“Mitch McConnell has left his party powerless,” Hoskins added.
Hoskins said McConnell pushed GOP colleagues into adopting the “untenable position that all government programs must be funded if they are part of current law.”
He argued Republicans have a constitutional right to protect American taxpayers from having to pay for “misguided programs.”
A spokesman for McConnell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senate aides familiar with the emerging deal say it would fund government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit until February.
Democrats say it will not include any reforms of the Affordable Care Act unless Republicans give them something in return.
A Senate aide said setting up a process to verify the income claims of people applying for subsidies through the insurance exchanges could be palatable because doing so would merely enforce the existing law.
McConnell announced on Monday that his talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) have made good progress.
"We have had an opportunity over the last couple of days to have some very constructive exchanges of views about how to move forward," he said. "I share [the Democratic leader's] optimism that we're going to get a result that will be acceptable to both sides."
The Senate Conservatives Fund has become a divisive force within the Senate GOP conference.
Mainstream Republican senators such as Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (R-N.H.) and Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsAn independent commission should review our National Defense Strategy Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R-Ind.) have complained in private meetings about the conservative group’s tactics, according to GOP sources.
It funded $340,000 in critical television ads targeting McConnell in September.
"McConnell is the Senate Republican leader but he refuses to lead on defunding ObamaCare," the narrator in the ad claims.
Hoskins leveled a similar critique on Monday.
“Republicans no longer have a say because Mitch McConnell won’t let them take a stand when it matters. He's made them Republicans in name only,” he said in his statement.
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