Apr 08, 2014
Budget Vote Puts House and Senate Republicans in a Bind
To: Interested Parties
From: DCCC Communications and DSCC Communications
Date: April 8, 2014
Re: Budget Vote Puts House and Senate Republicans in a Bind
This week when House Republicans vote for Congressman Paul Ryan’s latest budget, they will be handing Democrats the most effective electoral weapon of the 2014 election. This is a budget only the Koch brothers could love, and it’s a wish list for corporate special interests – which get what they want at the expense of the middle class.
As the Koch brothers are spending tens of millions in House and Senate races, their allies in Congress have produced a budget that shows exactly what the Koch brothers would do if they were in charge: stack the deck for special interests like themselves while undercutting the middle class.
In 2012, Democrats capitalized on the politically toxic Republican budget to gain seats in both the House and Senate and re-elect President Obama by a comfortable margin. Now, with eight members of the House running for the Senate and 76 emerging races in the House, the toxic budget vote presents ambitious Republicans with a choice: stand with special interests like the Koch brothers, or with Americans who have to work for a living.
So what do Congressional Republicans have to offer the middle class besides government shutdowns, repealing the ACA to give insurance companies free rein and endless dysfunction? This Republican budget answers that question by doubling down on reckless and irresponsible policies that will weaken our economy, kill jobs and undermine middle class security. THIS is the defining vote this Congress and is one that will haunt Republicans through November.
A quick look at the highlights of the Republican budget lays bare the wrong priorities of House and Senate Republicans:
- Give people making $1 million a $200,000 tax break while raising taxes on middle class families by $2,000 per year;
- Charging students $40 billion more for their loans and making them pay interest while in class;
- Force seniors to pay $1,200 more per year for prescription drugs;
- Raise premiums on traditional Medicare recipients by 50 percent;
- Slash $100 billion in life-saving scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s;
- Decimate job-creating infrastructure investments by $52 billion in the first year alone.
Democrats across the country will be using these startling numbers to give voters a clear choice: Vote for Republicans who are in the pockets of the Koch brothers or Democrats who are on the side of the middle class.
House Democrats picked up eight seats in 2012, making the case that Republicans’ budget would end the Medicare guarantee and raise seniors’ costs.
In 2014, with the economy and jobs at the top of voters’ minds, the Republicans’ budget will again be a powerful line of attack, as it raises taxes on middle class families and gives the wealthiest more tax breaks. In at least competitive 17 districts since the first of the year, the top-testing negative message against the Republican candidates is connected to this budget.
In 76 districts around the country, House Democrats have launched “Battleground: Middle Class,” an effort to fight for the hardworking men and women who will be most damaged by a budget that would cost 3 million jobs while giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas. The “Battleground: Middle Class” project will reach voters through paid advertising, efforts to connect them to their representatives and field efforts in their neighborhoods.
We call this project “Battleground: Middle Class” for the simple reason that our most competitive districts are middle class districts. They are swing suburban and ex-urban districts where middle class voters work and live. So if it’s an open district – like VA-10, NJ-03 or IA-04 – or a vulnerable Republican’s district – like Mike Coffman’s district in Colorado, David Valadao’s district in the central valley of California, Tim Walberg’s district outside Detroit, Joe Heck’s district in Nevada, or Tom Reed’s district in New York – this budget sells out their middle class constituents.
Candidates and incumbents alike are already feeling the heat. For example, in Miami’s FL-26, where Carlos Curbelo is running against Rep. Joe Garcia, Curbelo told reporters that he would support the Republican budget – without even reading it.
House Democrats’ “Battleground: Middle Class” attack plan is already generating headlines:
- Washington Post - DCCC Chairman: House GOP budget ‘will define the next seven months’ leading up to midterms
- POLITICO - Steve Israel: Paul Ryan budget gives Democrats a lift
- RealClearPolitics - Israel: Ryan Budget a "Middle Finger" to Voters
- Roll Call - DCCC Chairman Says “Middle Class” 35 Times in 45-Minute News Conference
- CBS – Paul Ryan’s budget faces criticism from all corners
In 2012 Republicans nominated seven current or former House members – six of them lost, including half in states Mitt Romney won, and almost every single one of them embraced the Ryan budget that hurts the middle class. This year Republican Senate candidates, even candidates favored by Washington insiders, are once again embracing the same reckless and irresponsible agenda – bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers – that will prove costly in a general election.
The Koch Brothers have already spent $30 million this year attacking Democratic Senate candidates with grossly misleading attack ads that have been widely discredited in order to prop up Republican senate candidates who support an anti-middle class agenda that is good for the Kochs and bad for almost every other family in the country. Voters understand that Republican candidates are personally and financially benefiting from the Kochs’ riches, and will hold candidates accountable for the Kochs’ unpopular policies and actions to layoff workers.
Democrats have strong incumbents, great recruits in Michigan, Iowa, West Virginia and Montana, and are playing offense in Kentucky, Georgia, and Mississippi, while poll after poll confirms that the GOP is out of touch on economic issues that matter most to the middle class. At both the campaign and the committee level, Democrats are out raising and out organizing their Republican opponents. And the DSCC is building the most ambitious and aggressive data-driven turnout operation we’ve ever seen in Senate races. The Bannock Street Project, named after the ambitious voter contact program built by Senator Michael Bennet’s campaign in 2010, will be the most aggressive national field effort ever in Senate races.
Democratic senate candidates won in nearly half of the states where Mitt Romney won in the last election that also held senate races (5 of 12: North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, & West Virginia), proving that senate races are not a referendum on the President or on any one, single issue but a choice between the two candidates on the ballot.
In each of the competitive senate races, there is a crystal clear contrast between a Democratic candidate who is focused on creating opportunity for the middle class and is willing to disagree with their own party leadership when they think it is right for their state and a Republican candidate who is beholden to the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, and a small group of right-wing billionaires who support an economic agenda that is dangerous for the middle class.
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