Tax Reform 2.0 and the Path to GOP Victory in 2018

CFG PAC Updates - September 18th, 2018

All the negative media drumbeat is taking its toll. The Club for Growth recently conducted a poll of 40 swing House districts. Unfortunately, the poll shows that Republicans are 12 percent less interested in voting than Democrats in these critical swing races. Democrats are simply more engaged and enthusiastic about the November elections. This is a big problem, because midterm elections often come down to turnout.

Now, the good news: Our poll shows that if Republicans run on conservative messages – they can win and keep the majority. In particular, voters in these swing districts are much more likely to show up at the polls and vote Republican if the candidate supports a second tax reform package. Tax cuts and continued economic growth are powerful issues not only to persuade undecided voters, but also to motivate Republican voters to show up and vote.

Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently introduced new tax reform legislation that should energize fiscally conservative voters and encourage them to make their voices heard at the polls.

Chairman Brady’s tax reform 2.0 includes three major pillars:

1)     Make the 2017 individual tax cuts permanent. The individual tax cuts in the 2017 legislation expire in 2025, in contrast to the corporate tax cuts which are permanent. Families and small businesses need the same kind of financial security and certainty that Congress gave corporations.

2)     Create Universal Savings Accounts. Universal Savings Accounts allow individuals to save money in special accounts that grow tax-free and are easier to access than 401ks. This is a pro-growth idea that will encourage individuals to save for the future while protecting their hard-earned money from greedy politicians.

3)     Provide incentives for business innovation. The proposal includes reforms that will encourage entrepreneurship, like expanded expensing for new businesses and making the Death Tax permanent.

Chairman Brady hopes to move his legislation through committee and bring the bill to a full vote in the House over the next few weeks, and we hope the Senate will do the same.

While it is unlikely the legislation will pass the Senate (they are busy confirming Judge Kavanaugh) before the election, forcing the vote is an important opportunity to remind the American people exactly what’s at stake in this election. Tax reform 2.0 also gives voters a tangible goal to be excited about.

For many individuals and families, these tax reforms will make a tremendous impact on their daily lives and allow them to take advantage of the roaring economy. When they go to the voting booth, the real possibility of hundreds or even thousands of more dollars in their pockets will be a fresh reminder of why it’s important to vote for pro-growth conservatives. And when they see Democratic politicians and candidates opposing these reforms, and running on Bernie Sanders’ socialism – free college and healthcare for all! – just a few weeks before Election Day, the choice will be crystal clear.

The Club for Growth will continue to champion these pro-growth policies.

Paid for by Club for Growth PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Club for Growth PAC Endorses Ross Spano for Congress

Rachael Slobodien - September 18th, 2018

The Club for Growth PAC today announced its endorsement of Florida State Representative Ross Spano, who is running for Congress in Florida’s fifteenth Congressional district.  The seat is currently held by Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL), who is retiring at the end of this year.  On August 28, Spano won the Republican primary by 44 percent and now faces the Kristen Carlson, the Democrat nominee, in the general election.

“Club for Growth PAC is proud to endorse Ross Spano for Congress,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

“Unlike his liberal opponent, Spano supports President Trump’s tax cuts and will fight to repeal Obamacare.

“In his service to the state of Florida, Spano has shown he is not afraid to stand up to his own party’s leadership when they wanted to compromise on core principles.  On the campaign trail, Spano has focused on limited government priorities.  Specifically, two of his top issues are term limits and supporting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”


Key Vote Alert – “NO” on FY19 Defense-Labor-HHS-CR bill (HR 6157)

Andrew Roth - September 18th, 2018


“NO” on FY19 Defense-Labor-HHS-CR bill (HR 6157)

The Club for Growth opposes the Defense-Labor-HHS-CR bill (HR 6157) and urges all members of Congress to vote NO on it.  A vote is expected soon in both chambers.  The vote will be included in the Club’s 2018 congressional scorecard.

The Club has two main objections to this bill. First, it reaffirms the budget-busting deal that Congress passed earlier this year.  It completely ignores the trillion dollar annual and perpetual deficits that are fast approaching.  Second, the bill ignores spending cuts recommended in the White House’s FY19 budget – including the elimination of several programs in the Department of Education and the overall funding level for the National Labor Relations Board.  In typical DC fashion, politicians in both parties settled their differences by just spending more money.

When we opposed the budget-busting deal in March, we summarized the bill as “plain madness”.  This new bill just doubles down on that characterization.

Our Congressional Scorecard for the 115th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to our members and to the public.

ICYMI: The Wall Street Journal: How Republicans Could Still Win

Rachael Slobodien - September 17th, 2018

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel recently highlighted polling that shows how Republicans can still win this November. The polling included a survey of likely general election voters in the 41 most competitive Republican-held Congressional races. The data reveals the challenges and messaging opportunities Republicans face heading into elections this year. The key is to persuade swing district voters by defending the tax cuts and making them permanent.

To view a summary of the survey, click here.

An excerpt of Strassel’s column is included below. You can read the piece in its entirety here.

How Republicans Could Still Win: A forthcoming poll suggests ways they can persuade voters in swing districts.
The Wall Street Journal
Kimberley Strassel
September 13, 2018

This was a week of gloomy midterm polls for the Republican Party, with a wave of results projecting a Democratic takeover of the House and maybe even the Senate. But not all polls are created equal. If Republicans bother to read just one, it should be a yet-unreleased survey that tells a more nuanced story.

The data come courtesy of the Club for Growth, a conservative outfit that plays to win. The Club’s donors expect it to place smart bets in elections, which it can’t do if it relies on feel-good data. …

Bottom line: Many of these races are winnable—if Republicans have the courage of their convictions and get smarter in tailoring their messages to voters.

. . .

… Republicans still hold a 3-point lead on the generic ballot in these districts, meaning they have a real chance if they get their likely voters out. An even bigger opening: Approximately 25% of those polled remain “persuadable” to vote Republican—if they hear the right things.

The difficulty is that different voters want to hear different things. Republicans have been touting their tax cuts and the economy, and they should. But the Club’s data make clear that uncommitted voters want more than past achievements, or a scary picture of Nancy Pelosi, or excuses for Mr. Trump. They want promises for the future. And yes, they remain wary that Democrats will reverse particular economic reforms.

Which is why the message that resonates most strongly by far with persuadable voters is a Republican promise that they will make permanent last year’s middle-class tax cuts. . .

Likewise, Republicans have an opportunity in highlighting the left’s more doolally ideas. Uncommitted voters reacted strongly against Democrats’ calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and strongly in favor of GOP promises to defund “sanctuary” cities and states, which refuse to follow immigration law. These were top messages for those crucial suburban voters, who have watched in alarm as urban violence creeps into their neighborhoods. (Interestingly, the other top suburban message was repealing ObamaCare.)

As for the Republican base, the poll finds they are driven most by Democrats’ threats to the presidency, the economy and constitutional rights. They will be inspired by Republicans who promise to protect the Second Amendment. They are likewise stirred by promises to defend Mr. Trump from the partisan impeachment effort that would inevitably accompany Democratic House control. And they want to hear Republicans vow to guard against intrusive and specific Democratic job-killing proposals—a $15-an-hour minimum wage, regulations on autos and drinking straws, government health care, etc.

. . .

So the trick for Republicans is to target different microcosms of their districts, tailoring their messages via digital marketing, calls, mailings and events. Some issues, like taxes, resonate everywhere, but for the most part the emphasis and message needs to be entirely different depending on block-by-block geography.

That’s doable, though it breaks with the usual mentality that elections are one thing or another—a positive or a negative campaign, a referendum or a choice. Elections during the Trump presidency, like the presidency itself, will be messy. Republicans who are willing to embrace that mess still have a shot.


Paid for by Club for Growth Action and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 202.955.5500

CFG Action Montana Launches New TV Ad Highlighting President Trump’s Rally Against Jon Tester

Rachael Slobodien - September 10th, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, CFG Action Montana launched a new ad as part of its seven-figure television buy highlighting Jon Tester’s dishonest and liberal record in Washington. The ad will run on broadcast, cable, and satellite TV. Entitled “Signature,” the ad highlights President Trump’s comments on Jon Tester from last week’s rally in Montana. President Trump tells the crowd how Tester has gone Washington and compares Tester’s voting record to Nancy Pelosi. Previous ads have highlighted Tester’s broken promises on debt reduction, accepting special-interest perks and lobbyist contributions, Obamacare, and missing committee hearings.

Watch the ad here:

“Jon Tester has a long history of saying one thing in Montana and doing the exact opposite in Washington,” said CFG Action Montana President David McIntosh. “President Trump was right to tell Montanans about how dishonest Tester really is.”   (more…)