Senate GOP Fundraising Arm Goes After Dems’ Voting Rights Fight With $1 Million Ad Push

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) adjusts his face mask following the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. S... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) adjusts his face mask following the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned Senate Democrats not to abolish the filibuster, saying that he would use procedures to turn the Senate into "a 100-car pileup, nothing moving.” (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 25, 2021 11:59 a.m.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is spending $1 million on an ad campaign targeting Democrats’ voting rights bill known as the “For the People Act,” an 800-page bill meant to expand and federally standardize voting rights.

According to an Axios report on Thursday, the NRSC’s ad campaign will be its first ad campaign of the 2022 midterms cycle that takes aim at S.1. which Republicans criticize as a Democratic “power grab” that would “eliminate voter ID laws,” implement automatic voter-registration and “force taxpayers to fund” campaigns.

The “For the People Act” is a sprawling piece of legislation that includes measures seeking to improve access to the ballot, a campaign finance overhaul, ethics reform and an anti-gerrymandering provision. It was the first bill the House approved when Democrats took over the lower chamber in 2019, but it was unsuccessful in getting a committee hearing nor a floor vote in the Senate. Key Democrats and their allies are now arguing the need to codify voting rights in law as Republican state legislatures nationwide take up restrictive voting bills in the aftermath of the record-setting turnout of the 2020 election cycle.

The Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to debate and discuss the bill, though it faces an uphill climb in the Senate due to current filibuster rules.

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The NRSC told Axios the ads will be unveiled in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire. The campaign arm views the four states as battlegrounds to unseat Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) as Republicans seek to regain the majority in the current 50-50 Senate.

Axios reports that the ads will begin airing on Monday. Ads will air in English in all four states, in addition to Spanish in Arizona and Nevada.

NRSC Chairman, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), characterized the “For the People’s Act” as an “assault on American taxpayers” in a statement.

“Senators Warnock, Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan will have a lot of explaining to do over the next two years and a lot to answer for in 2022,” Scott said.

The GOP’s attack on the “For The People Act” comes on the heels of a contentious Senate hearing on S.1, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) butted heads as Republicans try to tighten voting rules on the state level following the 2020 election.

Earlier this month, Scott, who chairs the NRSC, dined with former President Trump at Mar-a-Lago to make nice after Trump’s cease-and-desist letters to the NRSC as well the Republican National Committee (RNC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The letters demanded the GOP groups stop using his name and image for their fundraising efforts. Trump’s war against the GOP’s top fundraising arm appeared to be an effort by the former president to consolidate his large influence on the Republican Party.

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