WASHINGTON -- As debt ceiling talks hit what White House has likened to their adult stages, Republicans are howling over the fact that President Obama is set to host a series of fundraisers.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has been particularly scornful of the president for hitting the fundraising circuit, going so far as to say he thought Obama "has diminished" the office of the presidency for giving campaign like speeches about the debt ceiling while heading to Philadelphia to raise money for his reelection campaign.
It would be a seemingly more effective argument if Cornyn wasn't doing a bit of fundraising himself. The Texas Republican, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, is set to attend a reception for Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) at the NRSC's headquarters from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. The suggested contribution is $1,000 per Political Action Committee and $500 per person.
The Heller fundraiser is actually the second one in as many days. Cornyn was listed as attending another NRSC fundraiser on Wednesday evening at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., to raise funds for the Republican Senate Council.
These aren't secret affairs. The invitations were easily accessible on the Sunlight Foundation's site, Political Party Time. Other lawmakers fundraising on Thursday include Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) who had the American Institute of CPA's host a breakfast fundraiser for his campaign. Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) Leadership PAC, meanwhile, had a breakfast fundraiser with Capitol Tax Partners, a major consulting firm. Heller even had another fundraiser on Thursday, with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association PAC.
A request for comment from the NRSC was not immediately returned. That being said, the logical response would be that none of the aforementioned figures is as integrally involved in the debt ceiling talks as President Obama. Which is true. But the other main figure in that debate, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), also is reportedly leaving town on Thursday night. Why? To attend a fundraiser for Rep. Frank Guinta’s (R-NH) re-election campaign.
Lawmakers of all stripes, it appears, are keenly interested in raising money for elections, even with default readily approaching.
Boehner's office also did not return a request for comment.
UPDATE: Brian Walsh of the NRSC emails the following response to the Huffington Post.
As evidenced by the fact that he made these comments on the Senate floor, it’s clear Senator Cornyn was at work in Washington today and ready to hear the President’s plan to solve our debt crisis. Unfortunately, instead of meeting with Senate Republicans, the President felt it was more important to raise campaign cash in Philadelphia, while Harry Reid, who controls the floor schedule, announced the next vote won’t be until next Tuesday – on Libya. So whenever the Democrats choose to get serious about our debt crisis, instead of making campaign speeches, Senator Cornyn looks forward to hearing their proposals.