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Stefanik donates $1M to NRCC after being named House conference chair

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Newly-elected House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik donated $1 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) after winning her post, according to a Monday report.

“To give context, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) donated $2 million total to the NRCC last cycle. Stefanik clearly wants — and is likely to — surpass that,” notes a screengrab from Punchbowl News that was tweeted Monday morning by Ali Pardo, the former deputy communications director for the Trump 2020 campaign and current communications director for Stefanik.

Stefanik, elected on Friday, replaced the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was voted out as the House’s No. 3 GOP leader on Wednesday after party leaders and rank-and-file members lost confidence in her.

“Stefanik had $2.5 million in her re-election committee in mid-April after a $1.1 million first quarter in 2021. She’s been consistently one of the top rank-and-file House fundraisers in the Trump era, and has been prolific on WinRed, the digital platform the GOP created last cycle,” the Punchbowl report added.

Fundraising is considered vital to Republican efforts to retake the House and Senate during the 2022 midterms, and already the GOP appears to be breaking records.

According to a mid-April report by Open Secrets, which tracks political donations as part of the Center for Responsive Politics, “the 2022 election cycle is already making its way into the history books, with candidates reporting unprecedented fundraising hauls only three months in.”

In particular, House Minority Leader Kevin “McCarthy’s Take Back The House 2022 committee raised $21.6 million from January through March, about $5 million more than it did this time last year,” the report said. “Eleven individuals made $771,900 donations to the committee, which will distribute the money to House candidates and the National Republican Congressional Committee.”

A separate report noted that Republicans raked in a record amount of money during the first quarter of 2021, raising roughly $17.8 million in March alone, bringing the party’s total haul to about $44.4 million. By comparison, the Democratic National Committee raised about $18 million in January and February.

Former President Donald Trump looms large over the party’s efforts, as “significant fundraising sums are being reported by strong Trump allies, Republicans who have fundraised with him, and candidates on both sides of races in which Trump has taken sides,” ABC News reported last month.

Trump allies Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, for instance, posted record fundraising hauls as well last quarter — $1.8 million and $3.2 million respectively.

Cheney, who has done well in terms of fundraising as well over the first quarter, was targeted for removal from her position in February after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, which she blamed on his post-2020 election rhetoric. Trump has regularly said he believes the election was ‘rigged’ after several battleground states made late changes to voting rules and procedures citing safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the impetus for those changes.

But over the course of weeks following that vote, Cheney continued to focus more on Trump and his rhetoric than on GOP legislative and policy priorities and fell out of favor with other top party elected officials, including McCarthy of California and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

During an interview Sunday, Cheney admitted she is no longer in step with a “majority” of rank-and-file Republican members.

Jon Dougherty

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