Boehner blocks doors, secures millions in campaign pledges from colleagues

House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday persuaded his GOP colleagues to pledge millions of dollars to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), according to lawmakers.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE pledged to give $1 million if members of his conference vowed to deliver $3 million.

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And as the time came to call on members for donations, Boehner pointed to an individual standing next to the entrance to the meeting room and said, “Block the doors. Nobody’s leaving.”

Within 35 minutes, the NRCC had raised more than $4 million in pledges from members, including Boehner’s check for $1 million.

Boehner has contributed nearly $2 million to the NRCC, in addition to hundreds of fundraising events for candidates and GOP challengers this election cycle.

Lawmakers in the room explained that members were excited to make Boehner live up to the million-dollar challenge.

Republican Reps.  Joe Barton (Texas), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Hal Rogers (Ky.), Tom Price (Ga.), Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (Wis.), Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (Wash.), Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtConservative rips Appropriations chairman over no vote on tax reform CBS series 'Madam Secretary' exploring 'fake news' plot Trump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe MORE (Ala.), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Buck McKeon (Calif.), Candice Miller (Mich.), Steven LaTourette (Ohio), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) and Aaron Schock (Ill.) were among those lawmakers who stood up to pledge six-figure sums.

With the majority of the House at stake, both parties are leaning on their members to pony up. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has strongly pressed her troops for money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Former NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) called the amount of pledges in one day “unprecedented.”

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) met with House Republicans and nearly two dozen House GOP hopefuls Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club.

“He talked about how he had stood up to a lot of special interests, put a budget forward that was constitutional and balanced and eventually got his Legislature to accept it. As a consequence, New Jersey has worked its way out of a fairly severe budget deficit, and that was a lesson for all of us going forward,” Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessHarvey response puts squeeze on GOP Medicaid efficiency is needed now, more than ever In the politics of healthcare reform, past is prologue MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill. 

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) praised the plainspoken governor’s address. 

Christie, according to King, said, “If you could have a heavy governor from New Jersey getting national attention because he’s just doing his job, imagine what will happen to you guys.”

King, the top-ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said his neighboring state’s governor refrained from discussing the 9/11 mosque controversy that attracted headlines over the summer. 

Last month, Christie was the most prominent Republican to speak out against both parties for turning the issue into a “political football.” 

Cole said Christie should consider running for president. 

“Members were really excited. Christie is certainly already an emerging star — if we’d had a straw poll, he’d be the guy running for president. He was really good,” Cole said. 

Christie’s name has been mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential hopeful, but he has shot down the speculation.

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston (R) said Christie was the best speaker the conference has heard from in a long time. 

“Put it this way: Based on so many of the speeches here, it’s like going from your child’s guitar recital to hearing Eric Clapton.”

Told of the excitement about Christie’s address to Republicans, Garden State Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell was unimpressed. 

“Ho hum,” Pascrell said.