By Molly K. Hooper - 07/15/12 10:24 PM EDT
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) raked in nearly $8.5 million in the second quarter of fundraising this year to protect his hard-fought GOP majority in the House.
According to a memo released by his political office on Sunday afternoon, the highest-ranking House Republican has raised close to $80 million dollars for GOP candidates – through his political committees, appearances at member events and contributions solicited from Boehner-signed National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraising letters – since taking the gavel in 2011.
Cory Fritz , spokesman for Boehner’s leadership political action committee, The Freedom Project, attributed the hearty fundraising for House GOP races during a presidential election year, to the current policies of President Obama.
Boehner’s fundraising effort since becoming Speaker eclipsed that of his $50 million in contributions for the same period of time when he was House Minority Leader in 2009-2010.
As of late May, when Boehner reached the $70 million mark, he had superseded his Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (Calif.) fundraising total by over $20 million.
Boehner has pressed his GOP colleagues to up their own fundraising game as they attempt to fight off the Democratic effort to win the 25 seats needed to recapture the majority in the House.
In April, he warned his members that the GOP has a 1-in-3 chance of losing the House, and in a subsequent closed-door meeting with his members, said the comments “were intended to wake up Republicans about the fight ahead.”
Boehner has worked hard to deny his Democratic colleagues the opportunity of reclaiming the House gavel. Since becoming Speaker he has headlined more than 100 fundraising events for House GOP lawmakers and candidates.