POLITICS

House Democrats Raise Big Money Off Republican Push To 'Defund Obamacare'

09/22/2013 11:22 am ET | Updated Sep 23, 2013

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $840,000 in online contributions since House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced last week that Republicans would include a measure to strip funding from the Affordable Care Act in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

The House Democratic party committee launched an online petition and blasted its large list of supporters for contributions to fight back against House Republicans immediately after Boehner's Tuesday announcement.

The DCCC's blast emails attacked House Republicans' "extortion tactics" and their "complete cave to Tea Party Republicans." Supporters were asked to donate $3 to the DCCC's ObamaCare Rapid Response Fund.

By Sunday morning, two days after Republicans successfully passed a continuing budget resolution that would defund the health care law, the petition had more than 1 million signatures and the committee received 46,000 online donations, according to a DCCC aide. The average donation was $18.

“From the moment John Boehner and House Republicans announced that they would put this country on a path to shutdown -- all so they could give insurance companies free rein, our grassroots supporters jumped into action," DCCC press secretary Emily Bittner said in a statement. "Every time House Republicans demonstrate their priorities -- protecting the wealthy, padding health insurance profits and forcing the middle class to pay more -- our grassroots steps up.”

In the past two months, Republican groups have done their own fundraising off their push to defund President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law. The Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee tied to Heritage Foundation president and former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, had its best off-election year fundraising month ever in August while running its "Don't Fund Obamacare" website.

This week's fundraising swell for the DCCC is comparable to two of its best online fundraising spurts in recent memory: the unveiling of the budget presented by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and the week Ryan was announced as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.

While the push to defund Obamacare has been a boon to fundraising on both sides, it's unlikely to go much further. Senate Democrats, who control the chamber, will not approve or even bring a bill to the floor that would defund the health care law, and Obama slammed the effort while threatening a veto. Even Senate Republicans, including the voice of Obamacare opposition Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have said the measure is going nowhere.

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