WASHINGTON -- A government shutdown will force agencies to close their doors and send many employees home without pay, but the money won't stop flowing for congressional lawmakers trying to win reelection.
With the government slated to shut down on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner is still scheduled to attend a fundraiser for fellow Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot that evening.
At least five other legislators are holding fundraisers this week, according to the Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time website. They are Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) as well as Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.).
Chabot offers donors a "Taste of Cincinnati" with the Ohio delegation. Green's campaign fundraiser comes with a minimum price tag of $1,000 for lunch at Washington's Tortilla Coast restaurant, known for its middling Tex-Mex fare. Boozman's ARKPAC is holding its second annual Trout Fishing Weekend at Gaston's White River Resort in Arkansas for a $2,500 minimum donation.
Green defended his fundraising effort in a brief interview with HuffPost. "We had the year to be able to see what we can do to solve this problem, and I assume there are lots of members of Congress who are having fundraisers," he said. "This was planned a couple of months ago, and it won't interfere with my congressional duties because I'm not going to miss votes or committee meetings for it." Green added that if the fundraiser conflicted with a vote, he would stay to vote.
None of the other members hosting fundraisers this week responded immediately to requests for comment.
But Boehner had postponed a fundraiser slated for this past weekend because he needed to be in Washington.
Cory Fritz, Boehner's communications director, said that scheduling decisions will be made on a daily basis. "The Speaker continues to devote his full attention to stopping a government shutdown and stopping as much of ObamaCare as possible. All scheduling decisions will be made on a day-to-day basis until this is resolved," Fritz said.
If a government shutdown is triggered and continues into next week, several more lawmakers will have to decide whether to attend fundraisers outside Washington. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) both have fundraisers scheduled in New York City. Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are set to attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in Baltimore. Pelosi is also scheduled to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in San Francisco next week.
"It’s unthinkable that in the midst of a shutdown, which may deprive up to 1 million federal employees of their paychecks, members of the House and Senate would pursue a political payday," said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause’s senior vice president for strategy and programs, in a statement.
While none of these fundraisers are using the shutdown threat as the basis of a direct appeal to donors, that approach is being used in online appeals to grassroots supporters. Those appeals are going out as the third fundraising quarter winds down, before numbers are reported to the Federal Election Commission.
The DNC sent out a fundraising email from Biden on Monday asking for a $3 donation. It said, "If you've been watching what's been happening here in Washington over the past couple of weeks, and you still think you need more reasons to support Democrats over Republicans, I'm not sure what to tell you. The choice is pretty clear."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent a fundraising email to his supporters titled, "The Tea Party parallel universe." It said, "This is the extremism that our grassroots network is tasked with fighting against. And the FEC deadline at the end of the month gives us another opportunity to redouble our grassroots efforts."
Politico reported on a fundraising solicitation from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who wrote in an email featuring a large "Donate Now" button, "The only way we can win is if the American people raise their voices and engage their representatives. The clock is ticking, and I need your help right now."
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story noted that Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) had a fundraiser scheduled for this week. A spokesperson for Thompson informed HuffPost later on Monday that the fundraiser had been canceled.
On Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) emailed HuffPost to say that his campaign event had been canceled. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) canceled his fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The fundraiser for Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) has also been postponed, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Also on HuffPost:
Democratic Governors Association: $3.6 Million
The Democratic Governors Association gave $3.6 million to its own super PAC, DGA Action, in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. The group spends large sums on advertising and ground support for Democratic gubernatorial candidates across the country. Democrats are hoping to take back the Virginia governorship in 2013 and, going forward, are aiming to win many of the gubernatorial seats they lost in the 2010 tea party wave. <em>Pictured: DGA Chairman Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.)</em>
Michael Bloomberg: $2.25 Million
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already pumped $2.15 million into Independence USA PAC, his own personal super PAC, and gave $100,000 to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control super PAC founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Independence USA PAC spent the entirety of Bloomberg's money on a special Democratic primary in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District. The group entered the race to oppose both former Rep. Deborah Halvorsen and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson because of their opposition to gun control legislation. The super PAC ultimately backed the eventual winner, Robin Kelly.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners: $1.9 Million
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners gave $1.9 million to Working for Working Americans, a pro-labor super PAC. The 130-year-old union is funded by dues contributions made by its half-million members.
AFL-CIO: $1.8 Million
The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions with more than 11 million members, gave $1.8 million to its Workers' Voice super PAC during the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. <em>Pictured: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka</em>
Thomas Steyer: $1.75 Million
Thomas Steyer, head of the San Francisco-based hedge fund Farallon Capital, gave $1.75 million to a super PAC he founded to help elect more lawmakers who support action on climate change. CE Action Committee (formerly NextGen Committee) spent $1 million of that money to support the election of Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a special election. Steyer told Bloomberg Businessweek that he wants to push climate change into election conversations in 2014 and beyond. "If you look at the 2012 campaign, climate change was like incest -- something you couldn't talk about in polite company," he said. Steyer was not a super PAC donor in the 2012 election.
John Jordan: $1.7 Million
California vintner Thomas John Jordan gave $1.7 million to Americans for Progressive Action, a super PAC that supported Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez in the Massachusetts special Senate election in 2013. Gomez lost the race to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Jordan told The Wall Street Journal, "I just couldn't sit by and watch and leave [Gomez] alone while the establishment Republican groups decided to sit on their hands and just leave him on the beach. I just couldn't do that." <em>Pictured: Former Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez</em>
AFSCME: $1.5 Million
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has given $1,546,250 to super PACs in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. The group contributed $1 million to the AFL-CIO's Workers' Voice super PAC, $350,000 to Senate Majority PAC, $150,000 to House Majority PAC, $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century, $25,000 to Women Vote!, $16,250 to Patriot Majority PAC and $5,000 to Battleground Texas. <em>Pictured: AFSCME Secretary-General Lee Saunders</em>
Bob Perry: $1.1 Million
Before his death in April 2013, GOP mega-donor Bob Perry gave $1.1 million to super PACs, including $1 million to Senate Conservatives Action, a group aligned with former senator and current Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, and $100,000 to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a pro-Mitch McConnell super PAC. Perry was one of the biggest donors to Republican independent groups over the last decade. He was a major funder of the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth effort and was the third biggest donor to super PACs in the 2012 election, giving $23.45 million.
Jonathan Soros: $1 Million
Jonathan Soros, investor and son of the billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros, gave $1,005,000 to the super PAC he helped found, Friends of Democracy. The group works to enact campaign finance reform at the state and federal levels, in part by electing or defeating candidates based on their positions on campaign finance reform. Friends of Democracy spent most of its money in the first six months of 2013 to help fund a massive effort to enact reform legislation in New York state. Despite support from the majority of citizens and nearly every Democratic leader in the state, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the legislation died in the state Senate.
Harold Simmons: $1 Million
Texas industrialist Harold Simmons, through his company Contran Corporation, gave $1 million to American Crossroads, the Republican super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove. Simmons, a longtime GOP contributor, was the second biggest super PAC donor in the 2012 election cycle.
Cooperative of American Physicians: $844,510
The Cooperative of American Physicians, a membership organization for California doctors to purchase medical liability insurance, gave $844,510 to its own super PAC. The latter group supports candidates who back liability insurance reform, specifically the institution of caps on lawsuit damages, and other legislation to make it more difficult to sue doctors. In the 2012 election, the super PAC backed both Republican and Democratic candidates.
Massachusetts Teachers Association: $700,000
The Massachusetts Teachers Association gave $700,000 to Senate Majority PAC in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. The organization's contributions helped to fund independent expenditures to support the successful Senate special election campaign of Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). <em>Pictured: Massachusetts Teachers Association members rally in support of unionized teachers in Wisconsin.</em>
National Education Association: $671,250
The National Education Association gave $671,250 to super PACs in the first six months of 2013. The union contributed $300,000 to its own super PAC, NEA Advocacy Fund; $150,000 to DGA Action; $100,000 to Senate Majority PAC; $100,000 to American Bridge 21st Century; $16,250 to Patriot Majority PAC; and $5,000 to House Majority PAC.
Richard Uihlein: $630,000
Richard Uihlein, the CEO of U-Line Corporation, gave $630,000 to conservative super PACs in the first half of 2013. He contributed $280,000 to Liberty Principles PAC, $250,000 to Club for Growth Action and $100,000 to Senate Conservatives Action.
Steve Mostyn: $600,000
Texas trial lawyer and Democratic donor Steve Mostyn, through his Mostyn Law Firm, gave $600,000 to super PACs in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. Mostyn, who emerged as a major national donor in the 2012 election, gave $250,000 to Americans for Responsible Solutions, $250,000 to Battleground Texas and $100,000 to House Majority PAC.
American Bridge 21st Century/Foundation: $592,627
The Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century and its nonprofit arm, American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, combined to give $592,627 to super PACs in 2013. The majority of this money -- $557,479 -- was in form of staff payments by the nonprofit to the super PAC. The super PAC also gave $35,000 to Senate Majority PAC and $148 to the Jewish Council for Education and Research.
Unite Here: $500,000
Unite Here, a diverse labor union representing workers in the airport, food service, gaming, hotel, textile and laundry industries, has contributed $500,000 to the AFL-CIO's Workers' Voices PAC in 2013. <em>Pictured: Unite Here hotel strike in West Hollywood, Calif., in 2005</em>
Marc Benioff: $500,000
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff gave $500,000 to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control super PAC founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Benioff was a major fundraiser in Silicon Valley for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. This is his first super PAC contribution.
George Marcus: $500,000
California real estate investor George Marcus gave $500,000 to super PACs in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. He contributed $250,000 to House Majority PAC and $250,000 to Senate Majority PAC. Marcus chipped in more than $500,000 to super PACs in the 2012 election.
Sean Parker: $500,000
Facebook billionaire and Napster co-founder Sean Parker gave $500,000 to super PACs in the first six months of the 2014 election cycle. He contributed $250,000 to Americans for Responsible Solutions and $250,000 to Friends of Democracy. These are Parker's first super PAC contributions and could indicate the entrance of a new Democratic-leaning billionaire into the political arena.