Washington (CNN) – A top independent conservative group Tuesday launched radio spots targeting five Democratic senators in the battle over negotiations to prevent the country from falling off the fiscal cliff.
Crossroads GPS says its ads urge Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia to support significant spending cuts as part of any deal. The group says it's spending $240,000 to run the radio commercials.
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"The national debt is over $16 trillion. President Obama promised a balanced plan to fix it. Instead he's demanding massive tax increases and even more debt," says the narrator in the spots.
Crossroads GPS is the sister organization of American Crossroads, the independent super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove that backs GOP causes and candidates. The groups combined spent more than $150 million in support of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's unsuccessful White House bid in the just-concluded 2012 campaign.
Last week Crossroads GPS became the first pro-Republican independent advocacy group to go up on television with ads urging the White House to offer more spending cuts as part of any fiscal cliff deal.
Unless Congress and the president reach an agreement by the end of the year, tax rates will automatically rise for nearly all Americans and major spending cuts will automatically begin to kick in for most government spending programs, including military programs.
At issue in the negotiations is a disagreement between the two major political parties over how to best raise the federal government's revenues. The president and most congressional Democrats argue for tax rate increases on the wealthiest Americans in order to raise revenue, while most congressional Republicans call for the closing of tax loopholes and deductions, and overall tax code reform. Both parties have indicated a willingness to implement spending cuts and reform entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, although specifics over how much and where have yet to be made.
The television and radio spots from Crossroads follow a slew of TV ads by pro-Democratic groups, such as a coalition of labor unions, and AARP, that urge any deal to avert the fiscal cliff not include major cuts to the entitlement programs.