House Republicans, so worried that a swelling cash deficit will keep them from making big gains this November, have begun cracking down on dozens of lawmakers who haven’t paid dues crucial to the party’s campaign accounts. It’s reached the point that Speaker John Boehner has dispatched his own team to twist some of the stragglers’ arms.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s House campaign arm, is well behind its Democratic counterpart in fundraising, to the tune of $22 million so far. And many GOP outside groups, who could in theory compensate for the deficit, are more interested in channeling their resources toward retaking the Senate than defending the House.
That’s put increased pressure on Republicans to get dues from lawmakers. The NRCC had earlier announced the formation of a task force geared toward getting members to pay up. But behind the scenes, Boehner has launched his own effort — sending a trio of members close to him to press the procrastinators to fork over cash. They’ve been poring over NRCC dues sheets, calling truant members, tracking them down in hallways and otherwise pressuring them to open their wallets. Boehner himself has wrangled more than $1 million from his colleagues in the Ohio delegation.
Wait, you know who else is forced to pay dues? UNION MEMBERS. So the GOP is a union?