House Republicans are accused of failing to support National Guard (search) and Reserve troops in an advertising campaign the House Democratic campaign committee is rolling out this weekend.
Timed for Memorial Day, radio commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (search) are planned for a dozen House districts.
The ads criticize Congress for rejecting a plan to permanently extend health care coverage to National Guard and Reserve members and their families. It would have given them similar benefits as active-duty troops (search).
Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., offered the proposal as the House debated a bill that sets defense policy and plans spending for next year. Many Republicans opposed Taylor's plan, saying it was too expensive.
The ads refer to 12 GOP congressmen by name, accusing them of denying "these heroes the health care they deserve." The ads also implore constituents to tell their representative "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches."
Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, criticized the Democratic ad campaign as misguided and said the Democrats were "wasting their money 17 months from an election in districts that will not be competitive come Election Day."
The targeted Republicans: Rick Renzi of Arizona, Richard Pombo of California, Rob Simmons of Connecticut, John Hostettler and Mike Sodrel, both of Indiana, Edward Whitfield of Kentucky, Sam Graves of Missouri, Vito Fossella of New York, Charles Taylor of North Carolina, Bob Ney of Ohio, Timothy Murphy of Pennsylvania and Dave Reichert of Washington.