House Republicans Face Fundraising Challenges After Leadership Change
The recent decision to replace Kevin McCarthy with little-known congressman Mike Johnson as House Speaker has raised concerns about the financial future of House Republicans. McCarthy’s political operation has raised significantly more money than Johnson’s, leaving a financial gap for the party. This article explores the challenges faced by House Republicans in fundraising and how Johnson plans to address them.
According to federal records and public disclosures, McCarthy’s political operation brought in $78 million, while Johnson has only collected around $608,000 in 2023. McCarthy’s average monthly fundraising this year is higher than the total amount Johnson has raised throughout his congressional career. This significant difference in fundraising has created uncertainty among House Republicans as they prepare to defend their majority in 2024.
The Importance of Fundraising
Tom Reynolds, a former New York congressman, expressed concerns about Johnson’s ability to raise funds for other members of the party. Reynolds stated that Johnson has mainly focused on meeting his own needs in a noncompetitive seat in Louisiana. The question remains whether Johnson can successfully raise money to support fellow Republicans in the upcoming year.
A New Speaker Takes Charge
Since taking office, Johnson has reached out to key figures in Republican fundraising. He has already contacted the president of the Congressional Leadership Fund, the main House Republican super PAC, and is expected to play a significant role in their fundraising efforts. Johnson also visited the headquarters of the National Republican Congressional Committee, indicating his commitment to the party’s financial success.
Filling McCarthy’s Shoes
McCarthy has been responsible for a significant portion of campaign funds raised by vulnerable Republican incumbents. His transfers to the party’s House campaign committee account for over 25% of the total funds raised this year. Additionally, McCarthy has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the House Republican super PAC. Johnson now faces the challenge of filling McCarthy’s financial role.
The Road Ahead
McCarthy has pledged to support the party in bridging the financial gap left by his departure. However, it remains uncertain if he will maintain his current pace of travel. House Republicans are optimistic about Johnson’s ability to fundraise, but there are concerns about his hard-line social positions and how they may impact party financiers.
The Transition Begins
Allies of Johnson predict that he will quickly adapt to the fundraising circuit and receive support from party donors. Republican lobbyists, such as Susan Hirschmann and Brian Ballard, have already expressed their enthusiasm for working with the new speaker. Johnson may face challenges in replicating McCarthy’s fundraising methods, but the Washington money machine is slowly adjusting to the new Republican leadership.
The Task Ahead
It is crucial for Johnson to build his donor network and grassroots following. While he lacks a significant large donor network and has not chaired a standing committee, Johnson’s personality and determination are seen as assets. Representatives like Steve Scalise are expected to support Johnson as he establishes his fundraising operation.
Read More of this Story at www.nytimes.com – 2023-10-28 14:20:06
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