Sensing deeper commitment from Pelosi on immigration, Gutierrez will pay his DCCC dues

It's not the first time he has been in arrears with the DCCC. On Oct. 20, 2008, Gutierrez was among 33 House Democrats who were singled out in a memo leaked to the press that highlighted members who had given 50 percent or less of their DCCC dues. At the time, Gutierrez had only given 20 percent of his quota.

But after a recent meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Gutierrez said he will pony up.

In an interview with The Hill, Gutierrez said, "I am going to do it this time because I saw a little more twinkle and brightness in the Speaker's eyes when she [was talking about immigration reform.]"

Gutierrez, an ardent proponent of immigration reform, said that the Speaker has not changed her strategy of making the Senate go first on immigration. However, she indicated that she would help move the bill through Congress.

"I saw a difference in her," Gutierrez said.

The Illinois Democrat said Pelosi did not ask him for his DCCC dues at that meeting before the Easter recess, but did press him late last year on the issue. A laughing Gutierrez said, "She asked me five months ago and I blew her off. She called me on my cell."

Gutierrez said he has paid some DCCC dues this year, but indicated he will be transferring a more significant sum of money by May 1.

The 10-term lawmaker, who is expected to coast to reelection this fall, has more than $471,000 cash on hand.

Pelosi and DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) have stepped up their push for members to pay their dues, asserting that politically vulnerable members will need help from the campaign committee this fall. During an interview last month with The Hill, Van Hollen vowed to lean on his Democratic colleagues, saying, "For members who do not face tough elections, they will be paying their dues."