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Health care group’s ads support Torres Small

A health care advocacy group critical of Republicans and the Trump administration is supporting U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small and nine other freshmen lawmakers in their re-election bids.

A Republican Party campaign official is criticizing the 2nd Congressional District representative for accepting the support.

Protect Our Care is launching the House Education and Leadership Project, which will begin with $2 million in new digital ads in the districts of the newly elected representatives.

“The House Education and Leadership Project not only highlights the work House Democrats are doing to lower the cost of health care, but also makes a clear contrast between the Republican agenda to raise costs and take away health coverage and Democrats’ commitment to protecting Americans’ health care,” Protect Our Care Chairwoman Leslie Dach said.

The campaign kicks off with a set of 15- and 30-second digital ads on social media platforms, pre-roll and connected devices.

National Republican Congressional Committee Deputy Communications Director Bob Salera said Torres Small has been outspoken about banning “dark money” from politics, citing her support for HR 1, the For The People Act, and the Disclose Act. The For the People Act would introduce stricter limitations on foreign lobbying, require Super PACs and other dark money organizations to disclose their donors, and restructure the Federal Election Commission to reduce partisan gridlock. The Disclose Act would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities.

“If Torres Small, who was endorsed by End Citizens United, feels so strongly about ‘taking big money out of politics,’ why won’t she denounce Protect Our Care’s support and do her part to ‘improve the quality of life for all in southern New Mexico?’ ” Salera said.

Protect Our Care’s ad campaign, however, is not being coordinated with Torres Small’s campaign, the Journal was told Friday.

HAALAND ON DEFENSE SPENDING BILL COMMITTEE: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland to the conference committee for the National Defense Authorization Act. The conference committee will reconcile the House and Senate versions of the defense spending bill for a final vote in Congress and approval by President Donald Trump.

“The House passed a strong National Defense Authorization Act with provisions that protect New Mexico military families installations, research facilities and labs while calling for updates for climate resilience. As a conferee, my job will be to provide purposeful insights and monitor the progress of our priorities as the NDAA conference moves forward,” said Haaland, who is vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

UDALL, HEINRICH CALL FOR GUN SAFETY VOTES: U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined several of their fellow Democratic senators in “holding the floor” for several hours last Tuesday night and delivered back-to-back speeches on the Senate floor, calling again on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring up measures they said would prevent gun violence and expand background checks to the floor for a vote.

“The American people are demanding Congress take action on this national crisis,” said Udall, who mentioned that one of the victims of the El Paso mass shooting was originally from Santa Fe. “After El Paso and Dayton, many of us implored Leader McConnell to call us back into session to vote on the gun safety bills sitting on his desk, gathering dust.”

Heinrich said a majority of Americans, including gun owners, favored action by Congress to address gun violence.

“It is long past time for us to finally turn our nation’s grief and frustration into meaningful action to protect our children and protect our communities,” Heinrich said.

Scott Turner: sturner@abqjournal.com

 

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