The National Republican Congressional Committee had its "best March ever" but fell short of the Democrats' first quarter total.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $19.6 million during the first three months of 2011, while the NRCC pulled in $18.1 million during the same period.

Democrats had trumpeted how they raised more than $1.2 million online in the month of March, when the party asked for campaign cash to help avert a potential for shutdown of the federal government. But the DCCC's grassroots' contributions were dwarfed by the $10.2 million the Republicans took in last month.

It was the "best month ever in a non-election year," according to an NRCC spokeswoman.

The NRCC is reporting $9.05 million cash on hand and $8 million in debt. The DCCC has $4.6 million in the bank and the same amount of debt as their GOP counterpart.