Democratic and Republican House leaders will crisscross the country during the two-week recess, raising campaign cash for rank-and-file Members and candidates while promoting their agendas for the final months of the 110th Congress.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will embark on a Midwest spree, visiting Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.
He will attend fundraisers in Michigan on Tuesday for state Sen. Mark Schauer, who is challenging Rep. Tim Walberg (R) in the 7th district and former Michigan Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters, who is challenging Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) in the 9th district, before traveling to Milwaukee for Rep. Steve Kagen (Wis.).
Hoyer will head south Wednesday to Illinois to assist marketing executive Dan Seals in his bid against Rep. Mark Kirk (R) in the 10th district and then to an event for newly elected Rep. Bill Foster in the 14th district formerly held by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R). The Majority Leader also will travel to Ohio to raise funds for Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, who is seeking to replace retiring Rep. Deborah Pryce (R).
Hoyer will finish his trip Thursday with fundraisers for Ohio state Rep. Steve Driehaus, who is challenging Rep. Steve Chabot (R), and physician Victoria Wulsin, who is attempting to knock off incumbent Rep. Jean Schmidt (R). He also will attend an event for freshman Rep. Betty Sutton (D).
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also will hit the road, heading to Virginia, North Carolina and Florida to assist candidates and incumbents.
The Ohioan is scheduled to headline events for sophomore Rep. Thelma Drake in Virginia’s 2nd district and for North Carolina Reps. Sue Myrick and Robin Hayes. Hayes faces a repeat challenge from 2006 nominee Larry Kissell, whom he defeated by just 300 votes in the last cycle.
Boehner also will head to Florida to support state Sen. Bill Posey, who is seeking to replace retiring Rep. Dave Weldon (R), as well as to assist Reps. Ric Keller and Tom Feeney.
Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) will travel to Pennsylvania to raise funds for freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Otherwise, Clyburn will spend most of the recess in his home state for events, including a speech to the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Orangeburg County Democratic Convention.
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also will spend the majority of the recess in his district.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) will travel to Indiana to boost former-Rep. Mike Sodrel in his bid to defeat Rep. Baron Hill (D) in the pair’s fourth race against each other. Cole also will raise money in Connecticut for state Sen. David Cappiello (R) in his bid to unseat freshman Rep. Christopher Murphy (D), as well as a stop in New York to raise funds.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) also will travel to Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday to support Kissell.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will mark St. Patrick’s Day at the Capitol with a luncheon with President Bush and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.