Chamber pressures red-state Dems to back Trump on cutting regs

Red-state Democrats in the Senate are facing pressure to support President Trump's push for regulatory reform.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday released TV ads calling on Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampSenate braces for fallout over Supreme Court fight NRA launches M Supreme Court ad Centrist Democrat calls for up-or-down vote for Gorsuch MORE (D-N.D.) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillTop Dem: Trump's wall could cost B NRA launches M Supreme Court ad McCaskill investigating opioid producers MORE (D-Mo.) to vote for the Regulatory Accountability Act, which requires federal agencies to issue the “least costly” rules that still accomplish the task they set out to regulate.

The six-figure television campaign will run in North Dakota and Missouri, two states that overwhelmingly voted for Trump in November.

“If a company hadn’t updated their operating model since 1946, they’d be out of business. In the case of government regulation, it’s led thousands of companies strangled by red tape,” the Chamber says as the camera pans to a “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign at a local business.

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“The Regulatory Accountability Act will reform how bureaucrats regulate business, saving billions, stimulating growth, and holding D.C., accountable,” the ad reads as a young couple holds up a “Come In, We’re Open” sign in front of their store.

“70 years of dysfunction is enough.”

The House passed the Regulatory Accountability Act in January, and Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanMcCaskill investigating opioid producers Overnight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease GOP senators offer bill to require spending cuts with debt-limit hikes MORE (R-Ohio) is pushing the legislation in the Senate.

The GOP is rolling back some of the more controversial Obama-era regulations on their own through the Congressional Review Act, which requires a simple majority in the Senate. But the GOP does not have the numbers to pass the Regulatory Accountability Act without Democratic support.

The GOP has a 52-seat majority in the Senate, so it would need at least eight Democrats on board to advance the bill.

Heitkamp and McCaskill are among the 10 Senate Democrats who are facing reelection in 2018 and are from states that backed Trump in the presidential election.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is working behind the scenes in the upper chamber to build support from a handful of moderate Democrats for regulatory reform legislation.