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Let the Liberal Pressure Begin: Union Ads Tell Dems Not to Cave on Cuts

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Three major unions have joined forces to air ads pressuring Democrats to reject GOP demands as party leaders negotiate a way to sidestep the dreaded “fiscal cliff.”

Congress will return after Thanksgiving to hash out a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes in the hopes of averting what has also been referred to as “taxmageddon” -- a combination of the Bush tax cuts expiring and the budget “sequestration” that will enforce automatic, across-the-board cuts if Congress can’t find savings and revenues elsewhere. It’s the ultimatum Congress and President Obama gave themselves when they agreed to raise the federal debt limit in 2011.

With negotiations in their early phases, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME); the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and the National Education Association (NEA) have teamed up to air TV and radio ads pressuring moderate Senate Democrats to reject spending cuts and focus more heavily on tax hikes.

According to AFSCME, the ads are supported by a “sizable, six-figure ad buy.”

Ads like this are airing in Colorado, Missouri and Virginia. The ads target Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, D-Colo., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Jim Webb and Mark Warner, D-Va. All five are considered moderates.

The unions are targeting four House members in three more states with radio ads: Pat Meehan, R-Pa., Mike Fitzpatrick, D-Pa., Don Young, R-Alaska and Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.

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