House Republican leaders had a clear message Tuesday morning for Members wanting help from the National Republican Congressional Committee this cycle: If they do not pony up their dues, they will get no help for their re-election campaigns.
"If you do not participate, you will not get help," Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.), the NRCC's incumbent retention director, told lawmakers at a closed-door Conference meeting.
GOP sources said that a large posterboard was then passed around the room for Members to sign, pledging to fulfill their obligations or be left behind.
"You are going to be required to do some things," Rogers said. "There will be some pain along the way."
"I'm gonna sign this contract. We all need to sign it," Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. "When Mike Rogers comes to see you, I'm coming to see you."
While most Members reacted favorably to the ultimatum, not everyone was so enamored.
"It sounds like card check," Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) shouted.
Called the Patriot program, the effort is designed to keep lawmakers accountable for the funds they receive, ensure that some Members dont pull more weight than others, and to keep the NRCC out of the financial red.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.