Splish, splash. It sounds like Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., is stuck doing the dishes.
The reason? He lost a bet over rounding up National Republican Congressional Committee dues to his Washington, D.C., roommates , all fellow Republican members, a Capitol Hill GOP operative tells CQ Roll Call.
The wager was laid in July after NRCC Chairman Greg Walden named Shimkus, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota as chairmen of the party’s “Battleground” fundraising drive. The roomies decided the loser each fundraising period would be on the hook for the chores.
The four roommates’ push so far has rounded up more than $25 million in member pledges and dues, according to an NRCC aide. Walden described the foursome’s efforts as “above and beyond” expectations, and said in a statement that “thanks to their efforts” the GOP will grow its majority.
But sources say Shimkus ended up in last place, so chores are on him, at least this fundraising period.
Walden and his team are tasked with protecting a 17-seat majority in the House. Few political operatives predict that Republicans are in any danger of losing the gavel, but the committee has struggled financially against the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The NRCC hosted a members event at Nationals Stadium before Congress left town. Former Major League Baseball player Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was on hand, along with the Nats’ presidential mascots.
Sources tell CQ Roll Call that Brady, Paulsen, Scalise and Shimkus sported matching jerseys.
“They’re total bros,” a Scalise source said of the roommates. “Well, as much of a bro as you can be and still be a distinguished member of Congress.”
Speaker John A. Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Walden raised more than $3 million on behalf of the committee cycle-to-date. Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas; Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Aaron Schock of Illinois each raised $2 million.
An additional 14 members raised $1 million for the committee. They are: Brady, Scalise, and Reps. Ken Calvert, Devin Nunes, Ed Royce and Darrell Issa of California, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Pete Roskam of Illinois, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State, Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Pete Sessions and Roger Williams of Texas, Fred Upton of Michigan and Pat Tiberi of Ohio.
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