The GOP’s business wing is openly siding with President Barack Obama’s alliance of progressive and media to pressure conservative GOP legislators into accepting Obama’s executive amnesty.
The new establishment alliance emerged Monday, when a recent top aide to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus announced a new $400,000 ad campaign that will be aimed at the GOP’s populist anti-amnesty wing, including conservative leaders Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp.
The group’s role “really exposes what the failure to fight is all about: amnesty at any cost,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action.
“Could u imagine the ads they could run against Dems putting handouts 4 illegals ahead of border agents? instead they are attacking us,” tweeted Dan Horowitz, a conservative advocate.
Business groups are funding the ad campaign via the American Action Network, which was formed by Fred Malek, a hotel investor. Hotels are primary users of lower-wage immigrant labor, as kitchen staff and cleaning crews. The amnesty would provide work permits and tax-rebates to roughly 5 million illegals, allowing them to openly compete for jobs sought by Americans, and could help get them citizenship and the documents needed to vote in the 2016 election.
The ad campaign was announced Monday as 16 GOP senators switched votes in the Senate to join with 42 Democratic senators in rejecting the House GOP’s effort to block spending on the unpopular amnesty, which would be funded via the Department of Homeland Security.
The vote switchers include Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Whip Sen. John Cornyn. Last week, they supported the anti-amnesty measures in the DHS bill, but did little to rally public opinion against Obama’s amnesty.
The Senate vote means that Republican House leaders will face increased pressure from Democrats and the media to pass a DHS budget bill that won’t block Obama’s amnesty spending until at least October.
Democrats say the anti-amnesty push is threatening to shut down the nation’s homeland security agency. In fact, the agency won’t be shut down if the budget is blocked, because border officials will remain on the job, although they won’t be paid until a budget deal is completed.
“It is truly despicable that McConnell and Cornyn are siding with Dems over House Republicans on the most critical issue of our time,” Horowitz tweeted.
House Speaker John Boehner may allow Democrats to use an obscure procedure in the House’s debating rules to allow legislators to vote for or against the fully-funded DHS budget, likely allowing it to be approved by all Democrats and some business-backed GOP members.
The amnesty spending, however, has been temporarily blocked by a state-filed lawsuit in Texas, pending further legal appeals.
The pending ad campaign against GOP leaders was described to Politico by Mike Shields, executive director of the American Action Network, who quit the RNC in January. The TV ads suggest that conservatives are weakening national security, and will be “as significant as we can possibly get on broadcast while the debate is happening to educate the voters on this issue.”
The TV ads will be run at least 50 times against Reps. Huelskamp, Bridenstine and Jordan. The corporate money is also being used to fund online ads against nine other conservative congressmen, and to fund automated phone calls in 50 districts.
The group’s board members include Shields, Malek, several investors and advocates, as well as Barry Jackson, a longtime aide to House Speaker John Boehner.