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Obamacare Repeal Votes Motivate Democratic Donors

Luján is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Luján is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there’s a silver lining for Democrats in Republicans’ repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s that they’ve made good money off of it.  

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised more than $627,000 since early December in digital grassroots fundraising off Affordable Care Act repeal votes in the House and Senate. It has been the committee’s best grassroots fundraising off of a specific topic this year.  

Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act for years. But the DCCC, the campaign arm of the House Democratic caucus, is using this year’s milestone — a repeal bill landing on the president’s desk — to excite its Democratic base ahead of congressional elections in November. “For the first time in history, an Obamacare repeal will hit the president’s desk,” read one fundraising solicitation.  

“That’s exactly what a Republican majority is capable of: undoing access to health care for 17 million Americans,” continued the pitch, which asked supporters to donate $5 to the Protect Obamacare Campaign.  

“Here’s our plan: We’re turning these attacks on Obamacare into a 24-hour fundraising surge to defeat these anti-women, anti-heath care Republicans,” the email continued.  

Democrats suffer from a 30-seat deficit in the House; they’d have to win at least that many to win control of the chamber.  

The fundraising campaigns are mostly conducted over email, with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. putting their names on email blasts this week after the House failed to override Obama’s veto. The DCCC has also used digital ads and Twitter to drive donations. The average gift the committee has received from the emails is $20.  

Each iteration of the digital campaign has lasted one or two days, beginning with the Senate’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood on Dec. 3. The Senate has previously taken votes to repeal portions of the landmark health care legislation, but this time the upper chamber used a special “budget reconciliation” process that didn’t require 60 votes.  

A House vote on the legislation in early January prompted another DCCC email campaign on Jan. 6 and 7. As expected, the president vetoed the legislation on Jan. 8, and on Tuesday, House Republicans failed to garner enough votes to override it.  

“The president is the only person standing in the way of what the American people want, so our job now is to stand up for them, to demonstrate for them who is on their side,” Georgia Republican Tom Price, chairman of the Budget Committee, said Wednesday.  

Responding to the latest failed vote, and Republicans’ promises to keep fighting the law, the DCCC’s latest campaign ran Monday through Thursday, pulling in about $77,000 on Thursday alone.  

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