Republicans are hitting the airwaves in the most vulnerable Democrat-held House districts ahead of a major White House meeting between congressional leaders and President Joe Biden, who has refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling.
The National Republican Congressional Committee hopes to turn up the pressure on Democratic members in swing-districts and put pressure on the president to budge on negotiations. Democrats "refuse to solve the spending crisis they created," the ad at the center of the five-figure campaign proclaims, "voting against a common-sense plan to tackle the government spending problem."
The strategy was telegraphed last month when Republicans released polling that found Biden's insistence on raising the debt ceiling without cutting government spending is unpopular in swing districts.
The ads launched hours before Biden is set to meet with House Republican leadership to discuss the debt ceiling. The House of Representatives in April narrowly passed a measure that would raise the debt ceiling while slashing federal spending, in order to rein in the $31 trillion national debt. Biden and Senate Democrats have refused to entertain the Republican proposal, which could lead the United States to default on its debt as early as June. The United States has never failed to pay its bills before, and experts unanimously believe a default would have a disastrous impact on the nation’s economy.
Tuesday's meeting is itself the result of a concession from Biden, who initially said he would not meet with Republicans to discuss the debt before caving last week. Republicans hope that by pressuring 35 vulnerable Democrats, including Reps. Kim Schrier (D., Wash.) and Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.), they can get the White House to further bend to their position.
Still, the White House has repeatedly said it will not negotiate on the issue and has claimed, among other things, that the House Republican bill to raise the debt limit will "supercharge the fentanyl crisis."
Republicans say these accusations are baseless.
"Extreme House Democrats demand to keep spending our money like drunken sailors or they’ll tank the economy and allow America to default," NRCC chairman Rep. Richard Hudson (N.C.) said Tuesday.
The Republican ad campaign comes weeks after House Democrats' attempt to derail House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R., Calif.) push to raise the debt ceiling with an ad campaign of their own. The much-hyped campaign resulted in just two ads that aired during daytime MSNBC shows, hours before the House voted to approve McCarthy’s measure, the Washington Free Beacon reported.