EXCLUSIVE – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is off to a fast start in building a formidable war chest as he aims to expand the Republican majority in the chamber in next year’s elections.
McCarthy hauled in $35 million during the January-March first quarter of2023 fundraising, according to figures shared first with Fox News on Wednesday. McCarthy’s quarterly haul tops his previous record of $31.5 million raised during the first quarter of last year and marks the most money any House Republican has brought in over a three-month period.
The speaker, who’s known as one of the most prolific fundraisers in Washington D.C., personally hauled in $150 million in the last election cycle to help Republicans win back the House majority.
Republicans controlled the House majority for eight years before the Democrats won back the chamber in the 2018 midterms. Two years later, in the 2020 elections, the GOP defied expectations and took a big bite out of Democrats’ majority.
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The GOP captured the majority in the November 2022 elections, but hopes of a red wave never materialized and the party is holding onto a fragile 222-213 majority. That means Democrats need a net gain of just five seats to win back control of the chamber next year.
“When we won back the House we promised to follow through on our Commitment to America and get our nation back on track. We have kept our word. Our conference is united and changing Congress for the better,” McCarthy said in a statement to Fox News.
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“Our work represents a new direction and better approach, and the American people are taking notice. I want to thank our supporters for their historic generosity as we begin our mission to expand the House Republican majority in 2024,” the speaker added.
After winning the House majority in November’s midterms, McCarthy still had to secure his party’s backing as he clawed his way through an historic 15-ballot speakership election over five days at the beginning of the year. With nominal donations received during the fight for the speaker’s gavel, first quarter fundraising was set back nearly a week.
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But McCarthy apparently quickly made up for the lost time, with his team telling Fox News he raised over $400,000 per day on average once he took over as House speaker. McCarthy hauled in an eye-popping $12.3 million at his first major fundraiser, which was held in early February at a downtown D.C. hotel.
McCarthy’s team also touted a spike in grassroots support, with nearly $150,000 coming from small dollar online donations received from all 50 states. Even though he’s now House speaker, McCarthy has kept up his busy campaign travel schedule. His aides say when the House was not in session during the first quarter, McCarthy spent 37 days on the road, visiting eight states to help fundraise and assisted candidates launch their respective campaigns.
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The speaker’s aides spotlight that McCarthy distributed $4 million during the first three months of the year to House Republicans facing challenging re-elections in 2024, with another $5 million was transferred to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is the House GOP’s campaign arm.