The Business Roundtable is embarking on a multi-million-dollar national TV and radio campaign, beginning in early August, to give tax reform extra momentum over the congressional recess.
Done in cooperation with White House, Treasury, and House and Senate leadership, this is BRT’s effort to cast a potential tax overhaul as a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
“Members of Congress will hear from business leaders — and more importantly, their constituents — that tax reform is the single best way to increase investment in U.S. communities, create good jobs and promote a stronger economy,” said Joshua Bolten, President & CEO of Business Roundtable.
The ad campaign will kick off on August 4. It comes on the heels of the “Big 6” tax reform group releasing its six-paragraph set of principals on Thursday on broad tax reform goals including eliminating the controversial so-called border adjustment tax. The "Big 6" includes National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Speaker Paul Ryan; Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch; and Ways & Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, all of whom have been meeting weekly since the spring to negotiate on potential changes.
The BRT national television ads will run throughout Labor Day weekend.
In one ad, the voiceover says that the nation’s outdated tax system has slowed down economic growth and made America less competitive. In another spot, a narrator says that the complex and old tax code keeps companies from growing and hiring new workers and raising wages.
Both advertisements urge viewers to call their members of Congress and insist on passing real tax reform.
“We think this is the window for us,” said a BRT spokesperson. “We’re taking the momentum created by the ‘Big 6’ and the unity going forward and taking advantage of the members being at home to hear about tax reform over the recess.”
In addition to the TV ads, BRT plans to run radio spots in 250 stations across the country geared toward specific lawmakers that it deems influential on taxes. That includes lawmakers on the Senate and House tax-writing committees; members of the House Freedom Caucus; and moderates such as Rep. Mark Walker of the Republican Study Committee; Rep. Mark Meadows of the Freedom Caucus; and Rep. Charlie Dent of the Tuesday Group.
The radio ads in the different markets will mention the individual member by name and urge listeners to call that lawmaker, if they want tax reform to become a priority in the fall.
The end goal is to ensure that lawmakers produce tax legislation once they return to Washington D.C. in September.
Additionally, some of BRT’s CEO members will speak inside their own companies and networks on the need for major tax changes.
BRT represents the CEOs of large U.S. companies that collectively employ more than 15 million people and take in more than $6 trillion in annual revenues. This includes CEOs of companies as diverse as JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Accenture; Bank of America; Motorola; American Express; and GE.
The group recently upped its political chops by hiring Bolten in late 2016. As the former chief-of-staff under President George W. Bush and director of the OMB, Bolten brings deep political expertise and respect within Republican circles to the organization.