Bill Cassidy

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., speaks to reporters, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: DCJM107

Jacquelyn Martin

A new group that is lobbying against tax legislation that would increase the national deficit has set its sights on U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

Louisiana viewers will soon begin seeing ads targeting Cassidy on area broadcast and cable television channels, according to Citizens for Responsible Tax Reform, an effort that's being launched as Republicans in Congress and the White House weigh various tax proposals. Cassidy, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee, and other members of Louisiana's delegation have been vocal proponents of overhauling the nation's tax code.

"(Cassidy) has a strong record on national debt and providing independent leadership in the Senate that Louisiana can count on," group spokesman Blake Gober said of the decision to try to sway Cassidy.

Capitol Hill-based publication Roll Call reported that the group, which has support "from across the political spectrum," has begun targeting Republicans in at least 20 other states.

The Louisiana ad calls on Cassidy to "keep (his) word" about lowering the national debt before the country goes bankrupt.

"Right now, he's considering tax cuts that will add trillions to our national debt and hurt our economy," the announcer says in an ominous voice-over.

Cassidy's office, meanwhile, defended his push to get the tax overhaul passed.

“Sen. Cassidy is fighting to stop Washington’s out of control spending and reduce the deficit," Cassidy spokesman Matt Wolking said. "That’s why he is working to pass tax reform, because the only way to truly bring our national debt under control is to grow our economy, and that’s exactly what letting working families in Louisiana keep more of their own money will do.”

Gober said that there currently are no plans to run ads targeting Louisiana's other U.S. senator, John Kennedy, of Madisonville, nor other members of the delegation, but that could change down the road. He said the group is prepared to take its campaign against increasing the deficit "all the way to the end" of Congress' current tax debate.

Citizens for Responsible Tax Reform will ultimately publicly thank senators and congressmen who side with them and will call out those who don't, Gober said.

See the video of the Cassidy-targeted ad here.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.