Their refusal to contribute to the House GOP’s political arm, coming as Republicans are getting thumped by Democrats in the money race, is causing heartburn and frustration among Republican strategists charged with laying the groundwork for next year’s races. They say it is reinforcing a perception of the conservative gang that they’re only out for themselves and don’t much care about advancing the party’s larger cause.
Take Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian acolyte of Ron Paul and one of the most outspoken lawmakers for a hard line on the budget and debt negotiations. Amash, who voted against the final deal to reopen the government, hasn’t contributed to the NRCC this year, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Nor has he given to the committee at any point during his two terms in Congress.
Freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who said Republicans would be seen as “heroes” for shutting down the government, also hasn’t contributed to the NRCC this year. Nor has Georgia Rep. Tom Graves or Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp.
None of the House Republicans mentioned in this story returned requests for comment on why they haven’t given or whether they would give to the NRCC in the future. Of course, many tea party members see their allegiance as being to the grassroots, not the establishment, and want to change business as usual in Washington.