Speaker John Boehner moved to rally his troops Wednesday morning at a GOP Conference meeting, committing to raise $1 million to help retire the party’s debt.
The Ohio Republican’s financial commitment comes as GOP leaders tried to motivate their Members and remind them of the importance of paying dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee before the June 30 second-quarter filing deadline.
“When I first came here, there was no such thing as Member dues. There was no such thing as Members helping to elect a new candidate. It just did not exist,” Boehner said in the meeting, according to GOP aides who were present. “The reason we won last year is because we were able to come together as a team. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So let’s get the money in the bank, and let’s make sure we are in a strong offensive position to grow our majority next year.”
At the end of May, the NRCC reported $10.6 million in cash on hand, double the amount that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had. The NRCC also reported $7 million in debt left over from the 2010 cycle.
Boehner wasn’t alone in promising or giving campaign funds to House Republicans’ political arm. GOP leaders committed to raising nearly $2 million for the NRCC, according to a GOP aide. Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) also gave a $100,000 check Wednesday, bringing her total raised for the NRCC to nearly a half-million dollars this year.
Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (Okla.) presented a $55,000 check for the NRCC’s coffers.
NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) also affirmed the need for House Republicans to turn up the heat on their fundraising to show strength in the 2012 cycle.
“We want to show that the same fire and intensity we had a year ago, we have today. Our team has the will to win — to do the hard work that is necessary to grow our economy for middle-class Americans,” Sessions said, according to attendees. “Everyone has a responsibility to be a part of a team that wants to not only retain the majority, but also fulfill our responsibility to create a brighter future for our nation.”
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.