GOP Donors Respond to Obamacare Repeal Failure, Withhold Donations

Mitch McConnell / Getty Images
August 8, 2017

Republican donors are protesting GOP lawmakers' failure to repeal Obamacare by withholding donations to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

At least $2 million in contributions originally promised to the NRSC have not materialized, CNN reported Tuesday.

The failure of Republicans to fulfill a central campaign promise particularly concerns some donors because it could disillusion core voters heading into the 2018 midterms. The uncertainty could put the Republicans' majority—especially in the House of Representatives—at risk.

The Republican majority in the Senate is widely viewed to be safe in the 2018 midterms. Nonetheless, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.) has been privately warning his colleagues and donors that the GOP's 52-48 majority should not be taken for granted, according to CNN. A campaign donation shortfall could impact the GOP's ability to effectively campaign in states where Democratic senators are vulnerable.

Texas-based donor Doug Deason informed congressional Republicans in June that the "Dallas piggy bank" is closed until they take major action on health care and taxes, the Associated Press reported.

Deason refused to host a fundraiser for Rep. Mark Meadows (R, N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R, Ohio). He further informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, Calif.) his checkbook was closed.

"Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed," Deason said. "You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it [the 'bank'] back up."

Deason noted he has also encouraged "nearly two dozen major Texas donors to follow his lead," according to the AP.

The NRSC reported $16.2 million in cash-on-hand at the end of June, compared to $17.2 million reported by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to campaign finance filings.