Washington (CNN) - Several pro-Obama groups are rolling out $5 million in television ads this week thanking Democrats in 40 House districts across the country for supporting the historic health care reform that President Obama signed into law, CNN has learned.
Three Democratic officials told CNN the ads will thank Democrats like Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia and Bobby Etheridge in North Carolina, who serve in tough swing districts and have been under heavy pressure from anti-reform groups from the business community and elsewhere.
The Democratic officials say the ads are aimed at providing the political cover that Obama and his top aides promised lawmakers in the final stages of the lobbying effort to get the legislation through the House on Sunday night.
The ads will be funded by several groups including the Democratic National Committee, the Obama-affiliated grassroots group housed at the DNC: Organizing for America, and labor unions like AFSCME and SEIU. Catholics United, an abortion rights that supported the health care reform effort, is also involved in the coalition.
The Democratic officials are vowing this will only be phase one of a sustained campaign between now and the midterm elections in November to support endangered incumbents who supported the president's top domestic priority.