by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republicans in Congress are clinging to their conservative economic message and touting tax cuts, even as President Trump veers populist and shifts the focus to international trade.
American Action Network, the political nonprofit aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is launching a $1 million television advertising blitz in 24 battleground districts. The goal of the campaign will be to promote the $1.4 trillion federal tax overhaul passed by the Republican Congress amid unanimous Democratic opposition.
Republicans see the law as crucial to their electoral prospects in a midterm election shaping up as a backlash against Trump; they want voters to make a direct connection between the tax bill and accelerated job and wage growth.
“All across the country, working families are benefiting from the results of pro-growth tax reform, and seeing a $2,000 tax cut,” AAN executive director Corry Bliss said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner. “These tax cuts, wage increases, bonuses and other employee benefits — a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — are helping working families by providing a much-needed sense of financial security. AAN will continue to tout the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as families and workers across America continue to benefit from meaningful tax reform.”
Trump broke with congressional Republicans and this upbeat pitch and announced stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in a bid to lift the dark cloud over the American economy. The president said the American economy continues to languish, hemorrhaging jobs because other countries are engaging in unfair trade practices with the U.S.