Over the weekend we posted an article that the Vice President made an unscheduled stop to see the Koch brothers. The trip was not on his schedule and with the special elections over it seemed like an odd stop. Then…this bit of information caught our eye.
Ironically this weekend the Koch brothers hosted a donor retreat in Colorado Springs which is a place where conservative billionaire donors get together.
There was one message that seemed to come from that retreat aimed at congressional Republicans: “We’re closing the checkbook until you get some things done.” Yahoo News Reports:
At least one Koch official warned that the Republican Party’s House majority could be in jeopardy if the GOP-led Congress doesn’t follow through.
“If they don’t make good on these promises … there are going to be consequences, and quite frankly there should be,” said Sean Lansing, chief operating officer for the Koch network’s political arm, Americans For Prosperity.
Deason, who is keeping the “Dallas piggy bank” closed for now, said he was recently approached by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, about hosting a fundraiser.
“I said, ‘No I’m not going to because we’re closing the checkbook until you get some things done,'” Deason said, noting he’s encouraged nearly two dozen major Texas donors to follow his lead.
“There is urgency,” said AFP President Tim Phillips. “We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt.”
The window for action may be even smaller, some Koch allies warned at the three-day donor retreat that drew roughly 400 participants to the base of the Rocky Mountains. The price of admission for most was a pledge to give at least $100,000 this year to the Kochs’ broad policy and political network. There were also at least 18 elected officials on hand.
Some hosted private policy discussions with donors while others merely mingled.
In between meetings, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., predicted dire consequences in next year’s midterm elections should his party fail to deliver on its repeated promises.
“If we don’t get health care, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”
It’s the same for an overhaul of the tax code, Brat said: “We don’t get taxes through, we’re all going home. Pack the bags.”
While some donors threatened to withhold campaign cash, Koch’s team outlined a broader strategy to help shape the debate.
Already, Americans For Prosperity claims a paid staff of more than 400 full-time activists in 36 states. Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300 million and $400 million.
The group is actively lobbying Senate Republicans to change their current health care proposal, which it views as insufficiently conservative.
“We are not committed to the Senate bill in its current form, but there is still time to make changes and we’re actively working to improve it,” Phillips said.
At the same time, Koch’s allies are aggressively pushing forward on taxes.
The network is running what it describes as “a first wave” of digital ads calling on more than 50 House and Senate Republicans in both parties to overhaul the tax code. Later in the summer, Philips said, his organization will begin hosting rallies and other events to generate momentum for a tax overhaul in all 36 states where they have full-time operations.
Additionally, one very influential donor nicknamed the “Dallas piggy bank” Doug Deason has refused to host a fundraiser for two congressmen until they “get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed.”
Initially, the Senate seemed to be hesitant when pressured by the Administration to get health care done. So it seems the Administration paid the “bank” a visit and is hitting congressional leaders were it hurts. It appears the donors and the Executive Office have aligned.
These two fundamental reforms (health care and tax reform) are two massive platforms that supporters of the President have pushed for, and no doubt the passage of these bills will make them happy. However, it is a real shame that this how things must happen to get things done in Washington. You still gotta go to the billionaires to get anything done.
Source: Yahoo News