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Saturday, October 22, 2016

GOP Raises Big Bucks to Save the House

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), speaks to the media during his weekly media briefing on Capitol Hill September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

As congressional Republicans fight to hold the majority in both chambers, House leadership is going above and beyond to ensure candidates have the financial resources needed to run effective campaigns.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy managed to bring in or dole out a whopping $23 million for Republican down-ballot House candidates, raising a total of $30 million, Politico first reported. The California Republican raised $12.5 million directly for GOP candidates with an additional $7.5 million going toward the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). He donated another $2.8 million toward Republican House races, and $104,000 to Senate candidates.

The only member to top McCarthy is House Speaker Paul Ryan, who raised more than $48 million in 2016 throughout the course of the year, with $31 million of that having been transferred to support House members.

In addition to the funds, top GOP lawmakers including Ryan and McCarthy have jam-packed schedules filled with campaign events across the country in vulnerable districts.

Despite an impressive fundraising haul, the current political climate has presented a unique set of challenges for members looking to retain their seats. While it's unlikely Republicans will lose the lower chamber, with Democrats needing to pick up 30 seats to reclaim the majority, McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana held a phone call Wednesday with a number of members of their party encouraging safe lawmakers to provide financial assistance to their colleagues at risk of losing their districts.

Republican may have managed to bring in an astounding amount of cash, but the National Republican Congressional Committee expressed concern it is not bringing in enough to keep up with Democrats.

In a memo to GOP lawmakers obtained by The Washington Post Wednesday, NRCC Executive Director Rob Simms expressed concern over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's $21 million haul in September.

"Historically, we have shown that we don't need to match Democrat spending in order to be successful. But in this volatile environment, the current fundraising gap is unsustainable, and will negatively affect Republican electoral prospects if not addressed," Simms wrote in the document. "While Republicans remain in good position to retain a strong majority in the House, that position is becoming increasingly precarious, due to a combination of a volatile national environment and the risk of a substantial spending gap in favor of Democrats. If left uncorrected, we could run the risk of facing substantial losses on November 8."

The NRCC told The Washington Examiner the fundraising efforts and call to transfer funds to vulnerable races is not in response to the GOP trailing at the top of the ticket.


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