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GOP group comes out for Medicare fix

The center-right group American Action Network is spending $1.8 million on advertisements thanking Republican lawmakers for supporting the House budget and a bill to reform payments to doctors under Medicare. 

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The passage of a budget and the bill to repeal automatic cuts to doctors under Medicare — known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) — were two victories for House Republican leadership last month after a rocky start to the year. 

The ads thank 76 members who voted for the budget and the SGR bill. Part of the ad buy is $350,000 for TV ads thanking eight members, including Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSenate locks in hate crimes deal, setting up Thursday passage Stalker arrested trying to break into Taylor Swift's New York apartment 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet MORE (R-Tenn.), the top members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersHouse votes to extend ban on fentanyl-like substances Congress can help Americans living with disabilities by passing the ABLE Age Adjustment Act House Republicans circulate memo on legislative concepts targeting Big Tech MORE (Wash.), the fourth-ranking Republican in the House. 

The TV ads note that the budget cuts $5 trillion in spending, repeals ObamaCare and balances in 10 years. 

A radio ad in four more districts touts the SGR bill, that members were “showing them the right way to save Medicare, with conservative reforms that protect seniors and doctors and reward quality and accountability, while still saving millions of taxpayer money.”

AAN’s ads have not always been positive. Last month, the group targeted three House conservatives, Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.) and Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineHas the Biden administration abandoned the idea of a moon base? Bill Nelson's nomination as NASA administrator is replete with irony Biden to nominate Bill Nelson to head NASA: reports MORE (Okla.), accusing them of putting “our security at risk” in an attempt to block funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless it included a repeal of President Obama’s immigration orders. 

Conservatives seethed that Republicans were attacking their own party. AAN’s board includes establishment Republicans and Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' Cheney on Trump going to GOP retreat in Florida: 'I haven't invited him' Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' MORE’s (R-Ohio) former chief of staff, Barry Jackson. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' Cheney on Trump going to GOP retreat in Florida: 'I haven't invited him' Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' MORE’s office distanced itself from those ads at the time, saying they were not “appropriate” and pointing out that it cannot coordinate with an outside group. 

The two measures now being praised by the group took different paths. The SGR bill was the product of a compromise with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and passed in an overwhelming vote of 392-37. The budget, on the other hand, passed on a partisan vote of 228-199.