A group aimed at bringing Congress more to the center is launching a new effort to support Republican House members who have bucked conservative pressure in favor of House leadership proposals.
Politico reports that the American Action Network is poised to spend $1.8 million in 76 districts supporting Republicans who backed House leadership in recent budget and Medicare legislation.
According to Politico, the new digital and television adds will back members including Reps. Diane Black (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Fred Upton (R-MI), Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
“They say it can’t be done, that Washington is broken, and nobody is listening. They say we’ll never balance America’s budget, that we can’t repeal Obamacare and nobody can reform Medicare to protect seniors and doctors or take on the big issues. But they aren’t talking about Congresswoman Renee Ellmers,” Politico quotes the narrator in an ad for the North Carolina Republican Ellmers.
The AAN is the same organization that ran ads against House conservatives during the Department of Homeland Security funding battle, spending $400,000 against Republicans who wanted to continue the fight against executive amnesty via the appropriations process. That angered conservatives in and out of Congress.
House Leadership denied participation in the ads at the time, and Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith told The Hill that the Speaker did not think the ads were “appropriate and “strongly believes in Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment.”
The group also spent another $525,000 thanking House Republicans who supported leadership’s move to fully fund the Department without taking action on executive amnesty.
While leadership has distanced itself from the group, the organization’s board includes establishment and leadership allies including former Boehner chief-of-staff Barry Jackson and former RNC chief-of-staff Mike Shields.
Shields, president of the AAN, told Politico that the goal is an effective center-right agenda.
“We believe in a center-right majority that is effective,” Shields told Politico. “We’ve elected a House and Senate, and we have an agenda in front of us in Congress … and our interest is to have that agenda be enacted and be effective.”