1 May 2017

POLITICO Pro: Republican nonprofit to spend millions pushing tax reform

Republican nonprofit to spend millions pushing tax reform
By Kevin Robillard


American Action Network, the GOP nonprofit with ties to House leadership, is planning to spend millions pushing House Republicans to pass tax reform, starting with a $250,000 digital buy aimed at vulnerable Republicans and members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

AAN’s new minute-long spot features American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the Congressional Budget Office, outlining principles for tax reform. Holtz-Eakin argues a real tax reform plan will be permanent and put tax lobbyists “out of business.”

The digital buy targets 28 House districts, including those belonging to Speaker Paul Ryan; Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy; Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Ways and Means Committee members like Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington and Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio; and a slew of members who could end up in battleground races in 2018, including Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia, Reps. Lloyd Smucker and Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania and Reps. Ed Royce and Mimi Walters in California.

“Our tax code was made for the 20th century. We need a 21st century tax code that gives incentives to invest in America, innovate in America, and grow in America to raise the American standard of living,” Holtz-Eakin says. “We need tax reform — permanent, structural, transformative changes in the tax code.”

The group has already spent $10 million pushing House Republicans to repeal Obamacare, and has promised $7 million to defend members who vote for the House GOP’s repeal legislation. Tax reform, which is expected to generate an enormous amount of lobbying and advocacy, could end up being the more expensive fight. AAN said television ads pushing tax reform are on the way.

“The time for pro-growth tax reform is now,” AAN executive director Corry Bliss said in a statement. “American families and job creators want and deserve a fair and simple tax code that will grow our economy, promote savings and investment, and help all Americans prosper. President Trump and Speaker Ryan have laid out a bold plan to do just that. This marks the beginning of AAN’s multi-million-dollar and multipronged effort to ensure we fix our broken tax code once and for all.”