Chamber Chimes In On Nevada’s U.S. Senate Contest

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is inserting itself in four key U.S. Senate races including Nevada’s Berkley-Heller contest via a new television ad that is now airing statewide.

The ad criticizes Berkely for “government-mandated health care” (i.e., her vote for the Affordable Care Act) along with her 2009 vote for the Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill that sought to regulate carbon pollutants. The ad then praises Dean Heller for opposing the Affordable Care Act and voting for measures that would presumably lower energy costs.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce building

The TV spot cites a 2009 Heritage Foundation study that claimed cap and trade measures could increase energy costs by more than $800 for a family of four.

When President Obama first proposed the measure, it was a hot political issue and various independent groups estimated the costs at widely varying amounts. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost per household at an average of $1,600 per year, but that figure did not factor in energy rebates that were also part of the bill.

In response to the chamber ad, Berkley’s campaign released a lengthy response that defends clean energy initiatives and highlights votes she cast for various small business benefits along with measures to boost the tourism industry.

The chamber is also running ads in Hawaii, New Mexico, and North Dakota. The four ads are pro-Republican and criticize Democratic candidates’ positions on issues including domestic energy production, health care, and government spending.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in May announced a campaign blitz and launched ads targeting other Senate seats including Florida, Missouri, and Ohio, along with 17 House races across the nation. They also highlight lawmakers’ records as rated in their annual 2011 How They Voted scorecard.