Top Republicans pressure RNC to get house in order

Two top Republicans in Congress on Sunday said that the Republican National Committee (RNC) needs to get its fiscal house in order lest they lose the support of loyal donors.

The RNC has come under fire from some members of the GOP and conservatives since it was reported that the committee reimbursed several young donors for a party at a Los Angeles bondage-themed nightclub. The incident shined light on other examples of high-spending at the party. 

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But Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and House Minority Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) both stopped short of calling for chairman Michael Steele's resignation, as most Republican leaders have.

"Well, I'm not in the position of the people who elect Michael Steele to either say he should step down or not. But this kind of thing has got to stop or they won't get any contributions," Kyl said on Fox News Sunday. "The people that contribute to the committees, both Democrat and Republican, want to know that their money is well spent for the cause, and it needs to be that way."

The Republicans' comments show that, as primary contests loom, pressure on the RNC is continuing to build after a week in which the committee faced harsh criticism.

Several high-profile donors, especially those from socially conservative groups, have called on their supporters to stop giving to the RNC. Alternative Republican groups have begun to spring up that appear to have similar missions to the RNC, which are to fundraise and help elect Republican candidates.

The RNC has said that Steele did not personally know of the reimbursements and fired the official who authorized them. The committee also shined light on examples of spending at the Democratic National Committee, but critics have said they are not as risque as the RNC expenditures.

"Look, I'm very focused on House races, but the RNC does have some challenges that they need to correct. Not only does the American people request it but the Republicans requested it as well," McCarthy, who is recruitment chairman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said on Fox.

McCarthy credited Steele for raising solid amount of donations and helping elect Republicans in gubernatorial races and the Massachusetts special Senate election, but said that the RNC needs to pull itself together, perhaps with more staff shakeups, in order to have robust success in the fall.

"If we are going to show that -- the American public that we believe in accountability and bringing it back to Washington, we have to make sure that the RNC has the accountability just the same," he said. "You've got to bring the trust back, and that may mean shaking some other roles inside the RNC as well. 

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room

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