In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race. Campaign finance is a big part of the story.
House GOP leaders, fearful of the staggering amount of cash fueling Democratic candidates this cycle, are leaning on safe and retiring members to pony up to save the House.
At the outset of a private call with members last week, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) implored lawmakers to donate to the National Republican Congressional Committee or vulnerable colleagues. And NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) has been working the phones in one-on-one conversations to persuade members to give.
The drive, according to four senior Republican lawmakers and aides, is focused on members with easy reelection campaigns or who are retiring from Congress next year — people sitting on piles of cash that could be used to save vulnerable incumbents. Leaders are targeting some powerful outgoing chairmen, typically the most prolific fundraisers, who haven’t met their annual required “dues” to the NRCC, according to multiple sources.
In return for desirable committee assignments, party leaders on both sides expect members to pay "dues." As the report says, dues take three forms:
1. Money that is raised, usually by “dialing for dollars,” by a member on behalf of the party, which goes directly into the party’s war chest but is credited to the member.
2. Money that is transferred from a member’s campaign committee or leadership PAC to the party.
3. Money that is transferred from a member’s campaign committee or leadership PAC to fellow members and/or candidates in tough races.