Koch Brothers: These Are the 'Principled' but Vulnerable Congressmen Receiving Support

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the billionaire Koch brothers' campaign vehicle for supporting into Congress Republican candidates who share their views, revealed eight Congressmen it will throw its weight behind in the November midterms.

AFP said it will "fully activate its grassroots infrastructure through phone banks and neighborhood canvassing, as well as deploy targeted digital, mail, and radio advertising," in support of the chosen Republicans, who sit in Congress but face a hard fight to keep their seats.

The list, which is reproduced in full at the bottom of this article, along with the AFP comments about each candidate, includes supporters of tax cuts, liberal-minded immigration reform, and free trade.

"While Americans for Prosperity is committed to opposing politicians who actively work to defeat good policies, we are proud to stand with lawmakers who champion legislation that helps improve people's lives," AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement.

"The candidates we are supporting this fall have each been strong, principled leaders committed to removing barriers to opportunity in the federal government that are preventing people from realizing their full potential.

"As we work to build progress in Washington, we will continue our pursuit of policy majorities that will move our country in the right direction by supporting leaders like these."

Charles Koch, 82, and his brother David Koch, 78, whose family fortune comes mainly from the petroleum industry, have long been major funders of the Republican Party. According to Forbes, each is worth $53.1 billion.

But they have clashed with President Donald Trump on a number of issues, including immigration, on which they are liberals, and the imposition of tariffs on the likes of Canada and the European Union.

However, the Koch brothers did support the Trump administration's trillion dollar tax cuts, which disproportionately benefited wealthier Americans.

The brothers recently indicated they will be less partisan in the future, putting money behind any candidates or campaigns that advance the overall libertarian agenda they believe in. The Koch network even unveiled a new strategy to build "broad-based coalitions" on issues.

"We'll engage in politics to a degree to which it's really moving our overall agenda," Charles Koch said at the time, reported NBC News.

President Trump hit back angrily. "The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade," Trump tweeted.

"I never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I'm for America First & the American Worker—a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!"

Here are the eight Republican candidates for Congress backed by the Koch brothers including the comments from AFP about each.

Rod Blum (IA-1)

"Congressman Rod Blum has been a principled champion for Iowans by supporting tax and regulatory reforms that put money back into the pockets of hardworking Americans and allow people to improve their lives."

Dave Brat (VA-7)

"Congressman Dave Brat has consistently voted to lower taxes and rein in Washington's out-of-control spending that threatens to saddle future generations with trillions in debt. He has demonstrated strong leadership to remove regulatory barriers in order to help people improve their lives."

Ted Budd (NC-13)

"Congressman Ted Budd has a strong track record when it comes to supporting policies that promote economic freedom and break down government barriers. He supported the landmark Tax Cut and Jobs Act that provided timely tax relief to hard working families, supported regulatory reform such as the 2018 reforms to Dodd-Frank, which removed unnecessary red tape for community banks, and supported common sense health care solutions like Right-to-Try legislation, and the Health Savings Account expansion package."

Steve Chabot (OH-1)

"Congressman Steve Chabot is a proven advocate for taxpayers and has been a diligent leader for small businesses in Congress. As Chairman of the Small Business Committee, Rep. Chabot helped write the landmark legislation passed by Congress that is putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Americans, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Rep. Chabot has also been an outspoken advocate for free and open trade."

Will Hurd (TX-23)

"Congressman Will Hurd has fought to reform America's broken immigration system, lower taxes, reduce burdensome regulations and support free trade. He has also demonstrated a commitment to ensuring veterans receive the care they deserve."

Erik Paulsen (MN-3)

"Congressman Erik Paulsen is a leading voice on immigration reform, is a champion for free trade and is committed to supporting policies that help our nation's veterans . He has also supported crucial legislation that removes barriers to opportunity, such as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act."

Peter Roskam (IL-6)

"Congressman Peter Roskam has been a true leader for Illinois' 6th congressional district, championing policies like the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. His leadership in the House was instrumental to bringing much-needed tax relief to hardworking Americans. Rep. Roskam is also a strong supporter of free speech, immigration reform, and free trade."

David Young (IA-3)

"Congressman David Young has a strong record of voting to lower taxes and limit regulation. Young voted for tax reform that's putting more money back in Iowan's pockets and to remove burdensome regulations that were hurting Iowa's small businesses."

David Koch
Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrating the opening of "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" in Upper Manhattan, New York May 5, 2014. David and Charles Koch revealed eight Republican candidates getting their support in the November midterms. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri