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Planned Parenthood launches six-figure ad campaign blasting vulnerable GOP senators on COVID-19 bill

Planned Parenthood launches six-figure ad campaign blasting vulnerable GOP senators on COVID-19 bill
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a six-figure ad campaign Monday pressuring several vulnerable GOP senators to pass the next coronavirus relief legislation.

Senators return this week from a two-week recess with a steep path to negotiating a bill both parties have vowed to pass by August. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) is expected to share the GOP proposal with fellow Republicans on Tuesday.

The Planned Parenthood campaign primarily targets McConnell and Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesOn The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (Mont.), John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee MORE (Texas), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstWaPo reporter says GOP has less incentive to go big on COVID-19 relief GOP chairman: Defense bill to include renaming Confederate bases, but not Section 230 repeal Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters MORE (Iowa), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress inches closer to virus relief deal Lawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal Biden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him MORE (Maine), Cory GardnerCory GardnerMark Kelly to be sworn in as senator on Wednesday Hillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (Colo.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRep. Mark Walker announces Senate bid in North Carolina Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge MORE (N.C.) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in Mark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Sen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in MORE (Ariz.). The ads also targeted Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Trump doubles down on Section 230 repeal after GOP pushback Senate committee approves nominations of three FEC commissioners MORE of Missouri, who is not up for reelection this year.

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The digital ads urge constituents to call their senator and tell them to “stop stalling” on a COVID-19 relief bill.

The senators are not “focused on women and families,” and are “spending time confirming Trump’s unfit judges instead of addressing the urgent public health crises of COVID-19 and systematic racism,” many of the ads read.

Another ad calls on the lawmakers to address racial inequities in the next relief bill by including free testing, public health investments and voting reforms.

“The United States now has more than 3.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases — but if you thought these dire numbers would finally drive Senate Majority leadership to act, you thought wrong,” Jenny Lawson, the group’s vice president of organizing and campaigns, said in a statement Monday.

The GOP senators targeted by the campaign have “refused to take action as the country feels the weight of this public health crisis,” Lawson added.

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The races for McSally, Gardner, Collins, Daines and Tillis are all considered toss-ups by Cook Political Report. Ernst’s race is rated “lean Republican,” while McConnell and Cornyn are in “likely Republican” races.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a separate six-figure campaign July 16 targeting Collins over her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Supreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty MORE, who recently voted to uphold a Louisiana restriction on abortions. The state law was ultimately struck down in a 5-4 decision.

Lawson on Monday also criticized GOP senators for not taking up the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that House Democrats passed in May.

Senate Democrats will use that bill as their starting point in negotiations. Republicans and the White House both aim to cap the price of their proposal at around $1 trillion.

Points of contention between Democrats and Republicans include state and local aid, stimulus checks, and extensions of enhanced unemployment insurance and the Paycheck Protection Program. McConnell has also indicated no bill will pass without liability protections for employers, a provision Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms MORE (D-N.Y.) criticized Monday.