Cole contributing to GOP sophomores

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) will distribute more than $225,000 to five second-term lawmakers today at an event at the Capitol Hill Club.

Cole, who is attempting to become the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), is leading SHROMP, the Sophomores Retaining Our Majority Program, which helps second-term lawmakers facing competitive races. Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.), who is widely expected to become the next chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2007, should the GOP keep its majority, is co-hosting the event with Cole.

Republican Reps. Chris Chocola (Ind.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Jon Porter (Nev.) and Michael Turner (Ohio), all sophomores, will benefit from Cole’s efforts.

The program is a spin-off of the Retain Our Majority Program, or ROMP, started by former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which lends a hand to House Republicans facing tough races.

As a freshman lawmaker, Cole headed “FROMP,” a fundraising effort for vulnerable first-term Republicans, and he said he has raised $1.6 million for his colleagues since coming to Congress in 2002.