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 HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-N.D.) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFederal Election Commission must not shy away from Russia probe Senate Dems warn potential Missouri GOP recruit with opposition research dump GOP rep declines Senate bid challenging McCaskill 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 PortmanOPINION | They told us to abandon ObamaCare — then came the resistance Regulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Conservative group to give GOP healthcare holdouts ‘Freedom Traitors Award’ 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.