House Democrats have raised $7.6M online since GOP announced plans to sue Obama


Rep. Steve Israel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says Republicans are hurting themselves by threatening lawsuits and impeachment. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said Tuesday that his committee has raised $7.6 million online since House Republicans said they planned to sue President Obama, including bringing in $1 million on Monday alone.

Israel used the figures to argue that the Republican approach has badly backfired and that calls to impeach Obama have exacerbated their problem.

"I think that the Republican strategy of lawsuits and approaching impeachment is fundamentally misfiring," Israel told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "Look, I understand that the strategy is intended to gin up their base. But it's having the unintended consequences of moving our base."

On June 25, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced his plans to sue the president, citing executive overreach. House Republicans released a draft of the lawsuit on July 10. It zeroes in on changes Obama made to the federal health-care law.

Israel said the $7.6 million haul came from 400,000 donations. The committee received money from 74,000 new donors.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the DCCC raised $2.1 million in online donations over the weekend -- the best four-day haul of the 2014 election cycle.

While Boehner has made clear he does not favor impeaching Obama, some conservatives have argued for it. Former Alaka governor Sarah Palin (R) wants Obama impeached. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the third-ranking House Republican, wouldn't rule out the possibility in a weekend television interview.

Calls for impeachment have left many Republicans running in key battleground races in tough spots. A CNN/ORC International poll released last week showed that while 65 percent of the public opposes impeachment, 57 percent of Republicans support it. That's left GOP candidates doomed to alienate either the conservative base or moderates no matter where they come down on impeachment.

While Democrats have appeared eager to raise impeachment as a real possibility in order to fire up their base, Israel rejected the notion that he actually wants to see Obama face impeachment proceedings.

"It's horrific," he said of the possibility.

Israel declined to predict how many seats Democrats would lose or gain in the November midterms, only saying that he does not believe there will be  a GOP wave of victories. Democrats need to gain 17 seats to win the House majority. Most close watchers say that is an all but impossible goal.

"It' s a tough environment, but it's not a 2010 tea party environment," argued Israel.

When asked which House Democratic incumbents he is most worried about losing, Israel mentioned Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.). Israel said the financial might of Stewart Mills, Nolan's Republican challenger, concerns him.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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