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Conservative Koch brothers' network ad blitz targets Republicans and Democrats alike for backing $1.3 trillion spending bill

  • The political network backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has unveiled a six-figure advertisement onslaught targeting Democratic and Republican lawmakers for their support of a $1.3 trillion spending bill.
  • Americans for Prosperity is unleashing ads through digital, radio, mail and print platforms, calling out lawmakers who voted for the spending bill in March.
  • The campaign targets 17 lawmakers: 10 Republicans and seven Democrats. The GOP is fighting to hold onto its majority in the House and Senate this fall.
Charles and David Koch
Miller Hawkins | MSNBC
Charles and David Koch

The political network backed by conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch has unveiled a six-figure advertisement onslaught targeting Democratic and Republican lawmakers for their support of a $1.3 trillion spending bill President Donald Trump signed into law earlier this year.

Americans for Prosperity unleashed a bevy of ads on Thursday through digital, radio, mail and print platforms, calling out lawmakers who voted for the spending bill in March. The ads call on voters to hold their representatives accountable as Election Day nears.

"The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in March showed a complete disregard for fiscal responsibility," the group's spokesman, Bill Riggs, said in a statement. "Both parties are responsible for putting the country on an unsustainable fiscal path, which is why AFP is committed to holding both parties accountable."

The campaign targets 10 Republicans and seven Democrats. The GOP is fighting to hold onto its majority in the House and Senate this fall.

Targeted Democrats include Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who is trying to flip Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's seat. The other Democrats listed are Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida; Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida; Pete Visclosky of Indiana; Henry Cuellar of Texas; and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania.

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., is among the Republicans, although he decided not to seek re-election this year. The others are Reps. Hal Rogers of Kentucky; Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bob Casey this fall; Mike Bishop of Michigan; Mike Simpson of Idaho; John Carter of Texas; Robert Aderholt of Alabama; Mark Amodei of Nevada; Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska; and Ken Calvert of California.

This is just the latest phase of the Koch network's focus on placing its conservative agenda over backing particular GOP candidates after being frustrated with the lack of production throughout 2018.

The network hopes to lobby members of Congress from both sides of the aisle not just on spending cuts, but also protecting immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and providing access to experimental drugs for the terminally ill, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC.

This week, the network picked up two crucial victories. The House passed a bill that cuts back on the influence the Dodd-Frank financial reform law has on community banks. Lawmakers also passed a "right to try" bill, which allows those with deadly diseases to try experimental treatment while bypassing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.