Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has his annual Camp Baucus fundraiser set for this weekend.
But even a local one like that might be a tough sell for some K Streeters who have decided to take the month off.
“I don’t do fundraisers in August,” said Steve Elmendorf, a top Democratic donor who runs Elmendorf Ryan. “I don’t consider going to a fundraiser a vacation.”
Even some lobbyists who typically enjoy the August scene said they were steering clear because it’s the first full Congressional recess since Easter and might be their last chance to get out of town before the end of the year.
That’s because when Congress returns next month, the new deficit reduction committee will start, and lobbyists say they might be here until Christmas.
The committee itself, likely the subject of intense lobbying efforts from inside and outside Congress, will help spur fall fundraising. “Now, every oxen is on the table, and they’re all going to be gored,” one Democratic lobbyist said.
Industries from health care to defense and agriculture to technology will have a stake in the fight — and will be at odds with one another in many cases — and that will only intensify the fundraising. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) even proposed a bill this week called the Super Committee Sunshine Act that would force the as-yet-unknown members of the panel to disclose their campaign donations of more than $1,000 every 48 hours.
“Because of the deal that’s just been cut on the debt ceiling, it means the fundraising is going to go up right until Dec. 23,” said tax lobbyist and high-dollar GOP donor Ken Kies of the Federal Policy Group. Already, he said, he gets about 50 fundraising solicitations a day.
Another wrinkle in the September dash for cash is that many Members have canceled events that were set to take place this week.
“There have been a bunch of cancellations of stuff in Washington because of the rather notable speed with which these fellows got out of town,” said Democratic donor and lobbyist Larry O’Brien, founder of the OB-C Group.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.