House Republicans Target Seven Democrats on Budget Votes

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, presents his budget plan during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The campaign arm of the House Republicans is attacking some Democratic incumbents for their votes on federal budget policy in new television ads airing today.

Two of the ads from the National Republican Congressional Committee — in charge of defending the party’s 232-200 majority in the 2014 midterm elections — attack Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Collin Peterson of Minnesota for opposing a non-binding budget blueprint from Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. His budget calls for $4.6 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years and assumes a divided Congress will repeal President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-care law. Here is the ad attacking Peterson, who voted against Obamacare in 2010:

Similar TV ads also target Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia and Ron Barber of Arizona. Jim Matheson of Utah, Bill Owens of New York and Patrick Murphy of Florida are criticized in NRCC online ads.

It’s a small buy — about $40,000 for the TV and online spots beginning today through April 9 — that’s less about making a big splash and more about attracting some local press and signaling that Republicans may run full-fledged advertising campaigns against those Democrats in 2014.

Though votes on budget resolutions are mostly symbolic and don’t carry the force of law, the idea is to construct a narrative that these Democrats on fiscal issues are “completely out of synch with what hard-working families deserve and expect,” as NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in a statement first provided to Political Capital.

Republicans almost unseated Barber, McIntyre, Matheson and Owens in 2012, while Murphy defeated Rep. Allen West in a Republican-leaning district. Rahall won by 8 points and Peterson prevailed by 26 points against weak opposition. Of the seven, only Owens is from a district that backed Obama over Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

Democrats have made the out-of-sync argument against Republicans who backed Ryan’s budget, which calls for overhauling Medicare and aims to balance the budget in 10 years by making cuts across a variety of programs. Ryan’s budget passed the House on March 21 with the backing of 221 of 231 voting Republicans over the opposition of all 197 voting Democrats. The Democratic-led Senate passed its own plan.

Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hunter and Roxana Tiron reported March 21 that the budget votes, while symbolic and non-binding, will provide fodder for campaign attacks ahead of the 2014 election.

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