Government shutdown affects fundraising for some members of Congress

October 1, 2013

Members of Congress may be getting paid during the government shutdown, but they could still feel a financial hit in their campaign coffers.

A number of fundraising events scheduled this week in Washington have been postponed, as lawmakers decided they did not want to be seen schmoozing for donations while angry federal workers fret about how long they will have to go without pay.

Tuesday evening’s second annual Taste of Cincinnati, to benefit the reelection campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), was off. (Requested contribution: $500 per person.) Among those slated to attend the event was House Speaker John A. Boehner (R) and other members of the Ohio delegation, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time Web site.

Also scrubbed: a reception Tuesday that the National Republican Congressional Committee was scheduled for House Energy and Commerce Committee members, as well as a Thursday breakfast fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club to benefit the Healthcare Freedom Fund, a leadership PAC established by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.).

Even fundraisers outside the Beltway may be affected. Prospects are iffy for this weekend’s Arkansas trout fishing retreat with GOP Sen. John Boozman, slated to be at Gaston’s 400-acre White River Resort in the Ozark Mountains. (Requested contribution: $2,500 per person, according to Political Party Time.)

Still, the fundraising industry has not been completely stymied. Rep. Gene Green (D-Tex.) attended a lunch Tuesday to benefit his campaign committee at the Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill, hosted by the US Oncology Network PAC. (Suggested donation: $1,000 per person.)

The parties’ political committees sought to make the most of the final hours of the drama Monday night, drumming up donations with urgent e-mails.

The Democratic National Committee sent an e-mail late Monday asking supporters to “fight back” against the GOP’s “extreme agenda.” The DNC said it rang up almost $850,000 in online donations from more than 30,000 donors in the 24 hours preceding the shutdown, its best day of fundraising this year, according to a party official.

Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

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