The US Chamber of Commerce is targeting five moderate Democrats with a paid advertising campaign launched on Wednesday, as its president warned Americans that progressives’ hefty $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill poses an ‘existential threat’ to the national economy.
‘This reconciliation bill is effectively 100 bills in one representing every big government idea that’s never been able to pass in Congress. The bill is an existential threat to America’s fragile economic recovery and future prosperity,’ US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark said.
‘We will not find durable or practical solutions in one massive bill that is equivalent to more than twice the combined budgets of all 50 states.’
President Joe Biden spent the same day fighting for his $3.5 trillion wish list, central to his ‘Build Back Better’ agenda.
Biden held marathon back-to-back meetings well into the evening with 23 Democrats in the House and Senate yesterday to press them to vote in favor of the reconciliation bill.
The president spoke with both moderates and progressives within the party, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Pelosi told reporters ‘we’re in good shape’ upon returning to the Capitol Wednesday. The White House called the meetings ‘productive and candid’ but indicated there would be more to follow.
Republicans have long opposed the measure, calling it a ‘reckless tax and spending spree.’
They and moderates have pushed to prioritize the smaller $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure compromise, which Pelosi hopes to pass on a ‘two-track’ plan with the larger bill.
Clark also held up the bipartisan bill as a better measure.
‘The success of the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations provides a much better model for how Congress should proceed in addressing America’s problems,’ she said.
The US Chamber of Commerce is the largest lobbying group in the country and it represents more than three million organizations.
Its six-figure ad campaign is targeting five lawmakers’ constituencies so far: Cindy Axne, (D-IA-03), Angie Craig (D-MN-02), Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19), Josh Harder (D-CA-10), and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02).
But the group indicated that more moderate Democrats’ districts could soon follow.
‘The ads appeal to voters who understand the perils of raising taxes as the nation seeks to recover from the pandemic and calls on them to contact their members of Congress to voice their opposition,’ the Chamber of Commerce stated in its press release for the campaign.
Each 30-second advert displays news media quotes that paint a grim picture of the US economy while a voiceover attacks the Biden administration over the impact that tax hikes necessary to pay for his agenda would have.
‘American workers and small businesses are being hit from all sides. A devastating pandemic. Skyrocketing inflation. And now, the Biden Administration wants to hit them again with massive tax increases,’ the voiceover says.
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