Ryan scraps fundraiser for GOP rep who voted against tax bill

Ryan scraps fundraiser for GOP rep who voted against tax bill

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition MORE (R-Wis.) has nixed a fundraiser benefitting Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) after the New York congressman voted against the House GOP's tax reform legislation earlier this month.

Citing sources familiar with the fundraiser's planning, The New York Times reported Wednesday that Ryan's decision to scrap the plans was intended as retribution for Zeldin's vote on the tax bill. 

Zeldin's campaign confirmed to The Hill that Ryan had backed out of fundraising for the congressman, but declined to provide further comment on the matter.


Ryan still attended the fundraising lunch on Wednesday, Kevin Seifert, the executive director of Ryan's political operation, said in a statement to The Hill.

However, the money raised by the event went to the National Republican Congressional Committee and congressional Republicans generally, rather than to Zeldin's reelection campaign.

Zeldin was a vocal critic of the House bill's elimination of the state and local tax deduction, which would particularly affect states with high tax rates, like New York.

Four other New York Republicans also voted against the House bill, along with seven GOP lawmakers from New Jersey and California.

A person familiar with the fundraiser Wednesday said that Ryan would still back Zeldin in the 2018 midterm elections, and that there are not "litmus tests" for Republicans seeking Ryan's support.

"It would've been inappropriate and probably uncomfortable for Zeldin if we proceeded with the event while he was simultaneously voting against something that our allies have been clamoring for," the person said. 

Zeldin has attracted the support of Stephen Bannon, the Breitbart News chief and President Trump's former White House strategist, who is set to headline a fundraiser for the New York Republican next month.