Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander will travel Friday to Delaware to campaign for tea party favorite Christine ODonnell in her uphill Senate race against Democrat Chris Coons.ODonnell will help provide a badly needed check and balance on a runaway federal government that has given us too much spending, too many taxes, too much debt and too many Washington takeovers, the Tennessee Republican said in a statement.Alexander is scheduled to attend an event with ODonnell in the morning, a Republican operative said, although the location and other details were unclear.Alexander and other top Republicans have been criticized by some tea party activists and bloggers for what they perceive as tepid support for ODonnell and hard-line conservative candidates, particularly in cases where they beat out establishment-backed candidates during the primaries. ODonnell surprised Republicans when she defeated Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary last month.Republican operatives dismissed the complaints, arguing that the criticism is misplaced. For instance, one operative noted that Alexander has given ODonnell $10,000 from his political action committee, and that he and other leaders have backed outsider candidates this year.Alexander decided to stump for ODonnell to encourage support for her candidacy, the operative said.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.