House leaders pony up for NRCC

Greg Nash

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is contributing another $1.5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee, a signal he’s nowhere near calling it quits.

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Boehner told his colleagues of the donation in a closed-door conference meeting on Tuesday. The newly elected majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), also ponied up $1.5 million, while three other top Republicans pledged $1 million each: conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Budget Committee chief Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

Hensarling is as a possible challenger for Speaker to Boehner this fall after passing up a bid for majority leader earlier this month.

The move by Boehner is a further signal that he intends to run for a third term as Speaker.

“I told my colleagues two weeks ago I was all-in,” the Speaker told reporters after the meeting. “And when I’m all-in, I’m all-in.”

Boehner's $1.5 million brings his total contributions to the NRCC this election cycle to $17 million, the most of any House Republican, and USA Today reported that Boehner has helped the committee raise $88 million overall this cycle through a variety of fundraising tactics.

Even with Boehner’s prolific fundraising abilities in their court, however, the NRCC has consistently lagged its Democratic counterpart in fundraising this cycle. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $113.9 million for the cycle, while the GOP committee has raised $91.7 million. 

Republicans, however, have better prospects for success this cycle, defending a 17-seat majority in a climate that’s looking more difficult for Democrats.

Boehner’s Ohio delegation pledged $3 million in addition to his donation, including $500,000 from Rep. Pat Tiberi and $250,000 each from Reps. Steve Stivers and Jim Jordan.

After the announcements were made inside a monthly fund-raising meeting at the Republican National Committee, Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), a former auctioneer, stood up to reprise his former profession and secured several more pledges from rank-and-file members, according to two people in the room.

This post was updated at 11:47 a.m.