The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $14.4 million dollars last December, which the organization’s chairwoman touted as a boost heading into an election year with the House majority on the line.
“Talk to anybody in this building, they’re going to tell you how much is at stake in 2020,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos told reporters at the committee’s headquarters on Capitol Hill on Thursday. “We are going to play very, very aggressively.”
The organization raised $125 million in total through the duration of 2019, Bustos said.
Democrats gained over forty seats in the 2018 midterm elections to snag the majority of the House, and many of them were in districts Trump had won two years before. Bustos said the funds are critical not only to keeping the most vulnerable Democrats in office by establishing infrastructure across the country, but by expanding the areas where they can make inroads.
In particular, they plan on seizing opportunities in the moderate districts where Republicans have already announced plans to retire. In total, over twenty Republicans have announced their retirement — in comparison with just six Democrats — which Bustos said is good news. “If they felt confident they were going to take that majority, I don’t think we would [have] seen this number of retirements,” she said.
The committee’s December haul came amidst a historic vote in the House to impeach President Donald Trump for abusing his political power by allegedly withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into a top political rival. With the exception of one lawmaker, Jared Golden, who split his vote on the two articles, all the freshmen lawmakers from these moderate districts fully supported impeachment.
Republicans have made no pretense they will weaponize that against them in the coming year. “Call your freshman colleagues and tell them, ‘They’re not coming back, you hope they had their fun,'” Rep. Ken Buck said in a rules committee hearing the day before the vote. “Say goodbye to your majority status.”
Bustos and the DCCC Executive Director Lucinda Guinn claimed impeachment had no bearing on the contours of these races so far, arguing that voters cared more about issues like health care and drug pricing.
The December filings will not officially be publicized by the Federal Election Commission until January 20th. The DCCC’s republican counter-party, the National Republican Congressional Committee, did not yet release their December numbers. A spokesperson for the organization did not respond to request for comment. The DCCC noted in November that it had out-raised the NRCC by $33 million.