Now that the Trump team has left the White House, GOP lobbyists are shifting attention to their next focus: moderate Democratic senators.
GOP lobbyists tell FOX Business they are now targeting Democrats in Congress' upper chamber from red and purple states, specifically Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Jon Tester of Montana. The initial efforts are to prevent certain elements of President Biden’s expansive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief, namely excess funding to state and local governments, from getting approved as well as other measures such as the "Green New Deal," spending, and possibly paring down his tax increases on corporations.
The goal of the lobbying effort is to force President Biden to reevaluate the progressive aspect of his agenda which he initially deemed a moral issue and force him to pare back some of the elements like capital gains and tax increases for individuals who make more than $400,000 a year.
“We plan on reminding these senators of the benefits of the tax cuts especially for small businesses,” one GOP lobbyist told FOX Business. “We need to be tight and targeted.”
Manchin has said he would "absolutely not" vote for $2,000 checks.
Press officials for Manchin, Sinema, and Tester did not respond to a request for comment.
These lobbyists tell FOX Business they are hopeful this troika of senators can hold the line against more radical legislation Biden may seek to introduce like vast infrastructure spending and a possible Green New Deal.
If lobbyists are successful in swaying these Democrats, it’s a reminder of not just how slim of a majority Democrats hold in the two chambers but also how divided their own party is. Democrats in office are represented by the likes of ultra-progressives like New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as moderate Senators like Manchin who hails from a state that voted for Trump.
One pressure point lobbyists are focused on is the fact all three of these senators will face reelection in 2024 in moderate states and are already gearing up to defend their records.