POLITICS
11/20/2013 05:00 am ET | Updated Nov 20, 2013

House Democrats Fundraising At Record Pace (UPDATE)

WASHINGTON -- House Democrats' chief political arm maintained a record-breaking fundraising pace in October, adding $7 million to its existing $25 million cash horde as campaigning for next year's election intensifies, according to a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide.

The DCCC has raised more money at this point than in any prior election cycle, even when adjusting for inflation. The committee has raised $65.2 million through the end of October.

“House Republicans’ reckless and irresponsible agenda is not only driving their approval ratings to record lows -– it’s rallying our support to record highs," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. "The American people believe enough is enough -– and they’ve had enough with the dysfunction of this Republican Congress and the pain they’ve caused America’s middle class.”

October's fundraising success included the 16-day government shutdown that began Oct. 1 after House Republicans insisted on passing a budget that defunded Obamacare. The committee's fundraising in September also surged as grassroots Democratic anger grew in the showdown that preceded the shutdown.

The National Republican Congressional Committee will file its October fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. Through September, the NRCC had raised $47.9 million. The House Republican committee surpassed the DCCC's fundraising in June and July this year, but Democrats raised more in the other months.

President Barack Obama attended two October fundraisers for the DCCC, where each donor was asked for a $32,400 contribution.

In New York, Kathryn Chenault, the wife of American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, hosted the president, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Israel at the home of U.S. Corrugated Inc. chairman Dennis Mehiel and his wife, Karen.

Alan Solomont, the former ambassador to Spain, hosted the president at his house in Weston, Mass. For a $64,200 contribution, a couple could get a photograph taken with the president, according to The Washington Post.

According to the Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time site, the DCCC also hosted a Business Council mixer featuring vulnerable House Democrats, including freshmen members. The event asked for contributions of $5,000 to $15,000 from business political action committees to join the DCCC's Business Council.

The DCCC has raised money from more than 1.3 million donors in 2013. Most gave small amounts. Indeed, the committee has been taking in contributions from small donors -- those who give under $200 -- at a record pace recently. Through September, the committee had raised $23 million from small donors, much of it online.

The DCCC's funds are meant to protect vulnerable Democratic House incumbents and to help Democratic challengers in swing districts. The committee spent $60 million in support of its candidates in the 2012 election.

UPDATE: According to a Wednesday morning tweet from DCCC digital director Brandon English, the committee raised $2.4 million from donors online in October -- the second-highest monthly haul from online donors that the committee has seen in a non-election year. The full total from small donors last month was $3.1 million, which ranked as the third-highest amount this year. The DCCC's best fundraising month in 2013 for both small donors and online donors was September during the run-up to the shutdown.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the DCCC raised $2.4 million from small donors in October. In fact, it raised $3.1 million from small donors last month.

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