As he aims to expand the Republican majority in the House of Representatives in next year’s elections, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is off to a fast start when it comes to building a formidable war chest.
McCarthy hauled in a record $12 million for House Republicans on Wednesday night as he headlined his first major fundraiser of the 2024 election cycle.
The function held at the Conrad Hotel in the nation’s capital and in honor of McCarthy’s hard-fought ascension last month to the speaker’s chair, attracted nearly everyone from House GOP leadership and committee chairs. It was hosted by longtime McCarthy friend and ally and veteran lobbyist Jeff Miller.
The speaker, who’s known as one of the most prolific fundraisers in Washington D.C., personally hauled in $150 million last cycle to help Republicans win back the House majority.
‘No one has ever argued that I don’t work hard, and I’ll continue to work hard to get the message out,’ McCarthy told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview just before the fundraiser when asked about his fundraising goals in the new cycle.
Republicans controlled the House majority for eight years before the Democrats won back the chamber in the 2018 midterms. But two years ago in the 2020 elections, the GOP defied expectations and took a big bite out of Democrats’ majority.
The GOP captured the majority in November’s elections, but hopes of a red wave never materialized, and the party is holding onto a fragile 222-212 majority, with a heavily blue seat currently vacant. That means Democrats will likely need a net gain of just five seats to win back control of the chamber next year.
‘I want to grow the number of Republicans in the House to make sure that policy becomes law,’ McCarthy emphasized as he discussed his 2024 goals.
As part of that goal, McCarthy last week launched a joint-fundraising committee to help 30 incumbent House Republicans who face potentially challenging re-elections next year. The news was reported first by Fox News.
Looking back to November’s results, McCarthy acknowledged that ‘there are number of places where we could have done better.’ Pointing to disappointing GOP results in some statewide races in two key battlegrounds, McCarthy said that ‘the top of the ticket hurt us in Pennsylvania and Michigan.’
But he highlighted that the GOP won the popular vote in House races last November by 3%, up from the previous midterm elections.
‘We won in California. We won in New York. In Oregon. We have grown this party and actually expanded this party in seats that we haven’t had before,’ McCarthy spotlighted. ‘We’re winning seats that [President] Biden won by 10 points. So I think the role model is do what you’ve done well, and continue. That means finding some of the very best candidates, deliver your message like the Commitment to America and follow through with it.’
The Cook Political Report, a top non-partisan political handicapper, last week gave the GOP a slight edge over the Democrats as it released its first ratings for the 2024 landscape, with 10 Democratic held seats listed as toss-ups, compared to nine for the Republicans.
‘The advantage goes to Republicans in the next election cycle for the House,’ McCarthy said as he referenced the Cook Report ratings.
Pointing to bills House Republicans have already passed — from repealing the nearly $80 billion in IRS funding approved last year by Democrats, to a new select committee to get tough on China, McCarthy touted that ‘a lot of people like what they see happening.’
And looking ahead to the 2024 elections, he said ‘I know we’ll gain seats with the policies we’re working on.’
Rep. Suzan DelBene, the new chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Fox News Digital in an interview on Tuesday that Republicans ‘are not at all focused on addressing the issues of our families. They’re focused on politics and ideology.’
DelBene argued that the House GOP push to investigate the Biden’s administration and whether Hunter Biden tried to influence his father’s politics through business deals in China and Ukraine would not resonate with voters.
Asked about the DCCC chair’s criticisms, the Speaker that while House Republicans will push for a strong economy, energy independence, anti-crime measures, border security and a parents bill of rights, they also ‘want a government that’s held accountable and the reason that you’re seeing that is Democrats never did.’
‘The last DCCC chair said the exact type of thing, and he lost his seat,’ McCarthy added, referencing former Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the 2022 cycle DCCC chair who lost his re-election in November.