John Boehner can raise millions of dollars in campaign funds each election cycle because he is the Speaker of the U.S. House.
Politically safe in his southwestern Ohio district, Boehner gives a lot of surplus funds to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the arm of the party that’s tasked with defending the House Republican majority.
Boehner’s campaign committee sent $250,000 to the NRCC on Jan. 30, the biggest donation it received last month, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.
Party leaders and committee chairmen are asked to give more to the party than rank-and-file members, and Hal Rogers of Kentucky, who leads the Appropriations Committee, sent $165,000 in campaign funds to the NRCC last month. Pete Sessions of Texas, the Rules Committee chairman who led the NRCC during the 2010 and 2012 elections, donated $158,000, and Greg Walden of Oregon, the current NRCC chairman, sent $150,000.
The transfers helped the NRCC raise $4.4 million for the month as it began preparations for the 2014 campaign. There are 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats and three vacancies in the House.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is leading the effort to give President Barack Obama a House Democratic majority for his last two years in office, raised $6.1 million last month, including more than $1.8 million from its members.
Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, a former DCCC chairman who’s the top-ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, sent $300,000 to the DCCC last month, followed by Xavier Becerra of California, the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, who donated $250,000. Nita Lowey of New York gave $150,000 and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland sent $130,000.
Members of Congress may transfer campaign funds to national party committees in unlimited amounts. An individual donor may give $32,400 to a national party committee per calendar year.