Senate GOP reelection arm hitting Warnock, Kelly over COVID relief package
Biden signs American Rescue Plan
EXCLUSIVE: The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is taking aim two of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection in the 2022 midterm elections.
The Senate GOP reelection arm will launch ads starting Friday that target Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock of Georgia with digital ads that slam their support for President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that passed Congress along party lines.
The president signed the bill into law on Thursday.
“This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance,” Biden said Wednesday after the measure cleared its final legislative hurdle in the House.
The measure, the president’s first legislative initiative, includes new funding for coronavirus vaccine distribution and testing, direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly jobless benefits boost into September, a one-year expansion of the child tax credit, rental assistance for struggling households, and funding for reopening K-12 schools.
But Republicans, who stood firm in their opposition to the bill, decry the package as a “liberal wish list” chocked full of spending not directly related to the pandemic.
The ad against Kelly starts with a clip of the senator saying, “When you’re spending $1.9 trillion of the taxpayers’ money, it’s important that it goes to the places that it need it the most.”
The narrator in the spot then argues that the measure will send “stimulus checks to illegal immigrants and violent criminals. Funding sanctuary cities. Funding abortions and Planned Parenthood. Keeping classrooms closed. Bailing out Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom.
“Tell Mark Kelly this isn’t relief that Americans want,” the narrator emphasizes.
A similar spot targets Warnock.
The NRSC says that the ads, which were shared first with Fox News, will run on Facebook and YouTube.
“The $2 trillion stimulus package that President Biden will sign into law today is a historic waste of money that not only puts our economy at risk of inflation but also reflects the increasingly liberal priorities of today’s Democrat Party,” NRSC chair Sen. Rick Scott charged. “The people of Arizona and Georgia did not expect the Democrats to respond to COVID by shipping billions of dollars to illegal immigrants, violent criminals and Governor Cuomo. Sadly, that’s exactly what Senators Kelly and Warnock did.”
WHAT’S IN THE MASSIVE COVID RELIEF PACKAGE?
The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties, but the Democrats hold a razor-thin majority due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as president of the Senate. That means the GOP only needs a one-seat pickup in next year’s midterm elections to regain the majority that they just lost in the 2020 cycle.
But Republicans are defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in 2022. And they’re defending GOP-held open seats in the key battlegrounds of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as the potentially competitive state of Ohio.
While they play defense, Republicans are hoping to flip blue seats red in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. Kelly won a special election in November to serve the final two years of the term of the late Sen. John McCain. And Warnock won special runoff election in January to serve the final two years of the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson.
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The COVID relief package will likely be a defining factor in the midterm elections, which will be a referendum on Biden’s first two years in office.
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