Feb 22, 2017

Club for Growth starts hitting Republicans on border tax

The conservative group Club for Growth is launching its first ad in a campaign to pressure Republicans to oppose a key plank of Paul Ryan's tax plan — the $1 trillion border adjustment tax.

Target 1: Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means committee. The Club's attack ad against Noem will run on TV and digital in South Dakota, starting Wednesday, with an initial buy of more than $150,000.

The strategy: Spook congressional Republicans, beginning with Noem, into opposing border adjustment by arguing that the import tax hike will raise household costs. The Club's President David McIntosh says he expects the Noem ad to be the first of a series the group will air in states and congressional districts across the country. Other members of Ways and Means will be targeted.

Why this matters: The fight over the border adjustment tax is shaping up as the biggest tax fight of the year. On one side: House Republican leadership, an outside coalition led by General Electric and Boeing, and — possibly, though it's still unclear — President Trump. On the other side: Major retailers like Walmart, oil and gas companies, the Koch donor network, a growing number of House conservatives, and now the Club for Growth.

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