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CEO DATELINE — Heavy equipment group backs embattled lawmakers who voted for infrastructure bill

Nov. 24, 2021

By William Ehart

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is spending big to back a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, Politico reports.

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The association, which represents makers of heavy equipment such as that used in construction, is to launch a six-figure ad campaign today to bolster the lawmakers, some of whom are facing a bitter backlash for their votes.

Fellow Republican elected officials and former President Donald Trump are ginning up a vitriolic reaction against the 13 Republicans in the House who voted for the bill calling them “traitors” and “RINOs,” or Republicans in name only

AEM’s campaign features digital ads on social media and local and national news sites in the districts of four Democratic members, Reps. Cindy Axne (Iowa), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Angie Craig (Minn.) and Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), and four Republican members who bucked party leadership to vote for the bill, Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.) and Fred Upton (Mich.).

“These lawmakers put policy ahead of politics and delivered a resounding victory for the American people,” AEM top lobbyist Kip Eideberg said in a statement. He condemned “the deliberate conflation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill with the Build Back Better Act,” Democrats’ reconciliation bill, which he said “is confusing voters and fueling dangerous levels of hyper-partisanship.”

AEM’s campaign will be expanded to help more lawmakers, Eideberg said.

“We chose these eight for the first round because they have drawn anger and threats from misinformed constituents, they have been threatened with primary challenges from opportunistic and extremist would-be lawmakers, and they represent the commonsense, bipartisan wings of the two political parties,” Eideberg said.

“The lawmakers who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill did the right thing for America, their constituents, and equipment manufacturers,” he said. “We will spare no effort to highlight the immeasurable benefits of this historic bill.”