This story was updated May 24, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.

NASHVILLE — Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is among 13 GOP Congress members winning praise in a new national ad campaign funded by Americans for Prosperity for her vote against what the libertarian group calls a "wasteful" $1.3 trillion federal omnibus spending bill.

Meanwhile, 17 congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., are drawing fire for their "yes" votes on the measure, which passed Congress in March.

Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, says that nationally it is launching a six-figure ad campaign over the Memorial Day weekend with print, digital and direct mail related to the vote.

The ads also urge lawmakers to take a strong stand on the next major spending bill when the current federal budget year ends Sept. 30.

Blackburn, a Brentwood, Tennessee, congresswoman running for the U.S. Senate, is the only Tennessean impacted positively or negatively in AFP's campaign.


"Thank You!" says a print ad featuring her picture. "Rep. Blackburn opposed legislation that pushed total Washington spending to over $4 trillion."

It also urges readers to call Blackburn's office and "tell her to keep fighting to reduce our national debt and fix our spending problem."

A direct mail piece says Blackburn "voted to protect taxpayers from a reckless trillion dollar spending bill." It urges recipients to call her office to "thank her for protecting America's next generation and ask her to continue supporting common sense spending cuts."

Those criticized for supporting the March omnibus legislation included both Republicans and Democrats.

The ads come as Blackburn runs for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. Blackburn is expected to face former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in November.

Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Mark Brown criticized both the Americans for Prosperity ads and Blackburn's vote against the spending bill, saying the package gave military service members a 2.4 percent pay raise, provided $600 million for a rural broadband grant program and "billions of dollars to fight the ongoing opioid crisis."

"Congresswoman Blackburn talks a big game about supporting Tennessee and Tennessee values, but her actions speak a lot louder than her words," Brown said.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at or 615-255-0550.