Democrats hit vulnerable GOP senators on anniversary of Trump tax plan

Democrats are hitting vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection in 2020 with a digital ad campaign this week criticizing them for their support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s controversial tax plan in 2017. 

The video ads, which have not previously been reported and will be released by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), come on the two-year anniversary of the plan’s passage. The ads target GOP Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police No evidence of unauthorized data transfers by top Chinese drone manufacturer: study Senate Democratic campaign arm launches online hub ahead of November MORE (Ariz.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (Colo.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGeorge Conway group hits Ernst in new ad GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (Iowa) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash  MORE (Maine), all of whom are facing competitive reelection races next year.

Democrats have long panned the tax cuts package as a giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and corporations, while the GOP maintains that it benefits the middle class.

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“Two years after Republicans jammed their tax scam through Congress, massive corporations and wealthy GOP donors are reaping the benefits,” said DSCC spokeswoman Izzi Levy.

“Meanwhile, it’s clearer than ever that Senate Republicans’ reckless handout has left workers behind, penalized military families, threatened Americans’ retirement security, and could still end health care protections for millions. Every Senate Republican voted for this toxic tax giveaway, and we’ll continue to hold them accountable for their harmful agenda.”

The DSCC ads pan the GOP tax “scam,” underscoring the tax cuts that the package provided to the highest-earning Americans, with each video urging the senators to “stop putting billionaires and corporate profits” over their states’ “working families.” 

The ads also highlight a clause that repealed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, a move that dented the constitutional grounding for the health care law known as ObamaCare. The video targeting McSally shows the Arizona Republican dodging a question on whether she would vote to repeal mandated coverage for preexisting conditions, a core aspect of the ACA, with all four ads noting the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine the law.

The DSCC said it believes the ads demonstrate the potential to attack the vulnerable GOP senators on the topic two years after the package’s passage, hinting that it will be an ongoing theme in the races to unseat the four incumbents.

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Polling has shown the tax plan remains unpopular, with Americans disapproving of it by a 5.8 percentage-point margin, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average of surveys. That margin is significantly down, however, from the roughly 20-point spreads surveys showed around the time of the bill’s passage. 

The DSCC’s videos come as Democratic House and Senate candidates play defense against a barrage of ads from the Republican Party and other GOP groups hitting them over the House’s vote to impeach President Trump, an avalanche that has already included several million dollars’ worth of anti-impeachment messages. 

Each of the new tax-cut ads are the result of four-figure buys, the DSCC confirmed to The Hill.

Democrats are particularly keen to put up strong showings against the four senators targeted in the ads as the party works to make its way out of a the minority in Congress’s upper chamber; Republicans currently hold a 53-47 edge there. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Arizona, Colorado and Maine races as toss-ups, while Ernst’s seat is “likely” to remain in the GOP’s column.

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