WASHINGTON — After a week of legislative chaos over funding the Department of Homeland Security, a Republican group is taking aim at U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, in his East Texas district over his opposition to a DHS funding plan.
American Action Network, which calls itself a “center-right” advocacy group, has bought $10,000 worth of digital advertising in the district in the hope of building support for a congressional bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security.
“Global threats against our security are increasing … and some in Washington are playing political games with our national security,” the ad says. “Tell Congressman Gohmert: Fund Homeland Security.”
After averting a department shutdown Friday with a one-week funding agreement, Congress is pushing up against another DHS deadline on Friday. Gohmert, who voted against the measure, has said that any funding resolution must include language that restricts President Obama's immigration executive order. A Gohmert representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article.
AAN’s move in Gohmert’s district is not a massive buy, but it is part of a larger $400,000 national television, radio and digital campaign goading many of Gohmert and 11 of his like-minded GOP colleagues across the country to back the legislation.
AAN and its sister Super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, have unofficial ties with House GOP leadership. Former leadership staffers work for AAN and CLF, and House Speaker John Boehner participated in a CLF fundraiser in 2013, according to Politico.
Both organizations are capable of spending millions during campaign season. This is the first time either group used negative advertising against sitting members of the GOP.
Gohmert challenged Boehner's speakership in early January but only earned three votes.