Koch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to reject COVID-19 relief bill

Koch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to reject COVID-19 relief bill
© Greg Nash

A group backed by billionaire conservative activist Charles Koch is launching a new ad campaign in 10 states urging lawmakers to vote down President BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is putting six figures behind the mail, radio and digital ad campaign targeting key swing votes such as Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer: 'Goal' is to pass Biden spending bill before Christmas The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back This week: Congress starts year-end legislative sprint MORE (D-W.Va.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Alaska), arguing that the spending bill is “packed with unnecessary spending for long-standing partisan priorities and will do nothing to end the pandemic or help the economy recover stronger.”

The group argues that there is $1 trillion that has still not been spent from previous coronavirus relief packages.


“More than a trillion in pandemic money remains unspent. So why is President Biden pushing for another $2 trillion?” one of the radio ads states. "To bail out insurance companies and reckless state governments. To double the cost of hiring workers for struggling small businesses, eliminating jobs. This isn’t targeted relief to those who need it. It’s a partisan wish list that won’t help us recover. Visit RejectBailouts.com. Tell Sen. Lisa Murkowski to side with Alaskans and reject this partisan wish list.”

The House Budget Committee advanced the bill on a party-line vote on Monday.

The bill will go before the House Rules Committee before a floor vote, which is expected on Friday or Saturday.

The $1.9 trillion package includes $1,400 stimulus checks for those making less than $75,000, $129 billion in funding to reopen schools and a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

Polling shows the bill is popular but Republicans have been critical of the price tag and are questioning why the minimum wage is a part of it. They’re also fuming over the decision by Democrats to advance the bill through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to pass it without GOP support in the Senate.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure MORE (R-Maine) has said the bill is not likely to get any GOP support in the Senate, putting pressure on swing Democrats, such as Manchin.

The AFP ads will focus on Sens. Manchin, Murkowski, Mark KellyMark KellyNo deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline Five Senate Democrats reportedly opposed to Biden banking nominee Biden's pick for Arizona's US Attorney confirmed by Senate MORE (D-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon OssoffJon OssoffDemocrats anxious over Abrams silence on Georgia governor bid Perdue on possible run for Georgia governor: 'I'm concerned about the state of our state' Top Senate Democrat calls on attorney general to fire prisons chief MORE (D-Ga.), Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats anxious over Abrams silence on Georgia governor bid No deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline Warnock: 'True justice' is a Black man not having to worry about being killed while jogging MORE (D-Ga.), Bill CassidyBill CassidySunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist Legislators look to expand health care access through telehealth, biosimilars Infrastructure deal is proof that Congress can still do good, bipartisan work MORE (R-La.), Collins, Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanConstant threats to government funding fail the American public Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Sununu sidesteps question on running for president in 2024 MORE (D-N.H.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBipartisan success in the Senate signals room for more compromise Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US mulls Afghan evacuees' future Hillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — DOJ unveils new election hacking charges MORE (R-Ohio) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyNo deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Utah).

AFP previously sent a letter to the White House and Congress urging them to move forward with a more narrowly focused bill supported by Collins.