National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions pressured delinquent Members Tuesday to pony up their outstanding dues at a Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club.
There are at least 10 lawmakers, including senior Members, who have yet to fulfill their goals for 2010 and owe more than $2 million to the NRCC, according to GOP aides. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), who served as Policy Chairman in the 111th Congress, had one of the largest balances of $475,000.
Rep. Bill Young (Fla.) had an outstanding balance of $379,000, and Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Walter Jones Jr. (N.C.) owe $325,000 and $262,000, respectively. Rep. Gary Miller (Calif.) still owes $211,000, Rep. Steve King (Iowa) owes $195,000, and Reps. Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Lee Terry (Neb.) have balances of $191,000 and $169,000, respectively.
One Republican aide described Sessions’ comments as “encouraging” delinquent lawmakers to pay up before fundraising begins in earnest for the upcoming fundraising NRCC dinner in March. Another GOP aide said that they are confident lawmakers will be able to make good on their dues payments given their new majority status.
On the Democratic side, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel faces a tougher job raising money from the Caucus, but he recently painted a rosy picture of how his efforts to collect dues this cycle have gone.
The New York Democrat said that in December, Members paid up their delinquent dues for the 2010 cycle, noting that in just one hour he was able to bring in roughly $500,000.
Although the DCCC has not released information about how it might change its dues structure in the 112th Congress or who is still delinquent on dues, Israel said payments in January were strong as well.
Israel described a “Member excitement” based on Democrats’ “newfound aggressiveness.”
“They are willing to fund an operational plan based on assertiveness, and they are seeing that,” he said.
But some of the chronic late-payers say they just don’t have the money to meet the DCCC’s dues requirement. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) said he’d met with Israel and told him that he’d prioritized his legal costs over paying dues to the DCCC.
“I plan to be engaged in the process a lot more, but one step at a time,” said Jackson, adding that he hasn’t given any dues for 2010 or 2012. “I can’t. I’m simply not in the position to.”