Trump Launches Outreach for House Support

Two GOP congressmen will lead committee to round up fellow members

Chris Collins, the first lawmaker to endorse Donald Trump, will co-chair the committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Chris Collins, the first lawmaker to endorse Donald Trump, will co-chair the committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:50pm

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump formally launched an effort to garner support from House members, naming two Republicans to head a committee to reach out to other GOP lawmakers.  

Reps. Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California, the first two congressmen to back Trump , are co-chairing Trump’s House Leadership Committee, Trump’s campaign announced in a statement Thursday.  

According to the campaign, Collins and Hunter will “lead outreach efforts to their fellow members of Congress in support of Mr. Trump’s message to ‘Make America Great Again.'”  

“Congressman Hunter and Congressman Collins are conservative stalwarts,” Trump said in a statement. “I am honored to have the support of these two well respected members of Congress who share my vision of securing our borders, strengthening our military, treating our veterans with the respect and care they deserve and putting Americans first again.”  

Hunter’s spokesman, Joe Kasper, did not elaborate on what the outreach would entail, but he did say that Hunter has already been talking to fellow lawmakers.  

“Outreach has been happening already—and what we’re finding is Trump has supporters in Congress,” Kasper wrote in an email. “If and whether they announce that support is up to them, but there’s growing recognition of Trump’s ability to lead and manage a massive organization. And Representative Hunter will keep doing what he’s doing—talking about what’s important to him and leading on national defense and other issues.”  

Collins also weighed in. “I am honored to join my colleague Duncan Hunter as co-chair of Donald Trump’s U.S. House Leadership Committee,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to spreading Mr. Trump’s message on the issues voters care about like trade, jobs, national security and making America great again.”  

Last week, Trump met with several lawmakers while in Washington for a speech at the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.  

“There’s a lot of members for whatever reason are very supportive of Mr. Trump, even more so than Sen. (Ted) Cruz, who are not taking an official stand,” Collins said following that meeting.  

According to the Roll Call Endorsement Tracker , only seven members of Congress have endorsed Trump so far.  

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report. 
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