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National Republican Congressional Committee

National Republican Congressional Committee

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The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is the Republican Hill committee
Hill committee
The Hill committees are the common name for the political party committees that work to elect members of their own party to United States Congress...

 which works to elect Republicans to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

.

The NRCC was formed in 1866, when the Republican caucuses of the House and Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 formed a "Congressional Committee". It supports the election of Republicans to the House through direct financial contributions to candidates and Republican Party organizations; technical and research assistance to Republican candidates and Party organizations; voter registration, education and turnout programs; and other Party-building activities. It is a registered 527 group
527 group
A 527 organization or 527 group is a type of American tax-exempt organization named after "Section 527" of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code...

, and its current slogan is "Building a Lasting Majority".

The NRCC is always chaired by a Republican member of the House, who may serve up to two consecutive terms. The current chair is Rep. Pete Sessions
Pete Sessions
Peter Anderson Sessions is a politician from the state of Texas. He is a Republican, and currently represents the 32nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the current Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee-Personal:Sessions was born in Waco,...

 of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. Recent former chairmen include Rep. Bill Paxon
Bill Paxon
L. William Paxon , known as Bill Paxon, is a lobbyist and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York.-Early life:...

 (1994–98), Rep. Tom Davis
Thomas M. Davis
Thomas Milburn "Tom" Davis III was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Virginia's 11th congressional district in Northern Virginia. Davis was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by five-term incumbent and fellow Republican John...

 (1998–2002), Rep. Tom Reynolds
Thomas M. Reynolds
Thomas M. Reynolds , commonly known as Tom Reynolds, is a politician from the U.S. state of New York, formerly representing the state's 26th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives...

 (2002–2006), who was seen as Paxon's protege and who represented his former district in Erie County, New York
Erie County, New York
Erie County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 919,040. The county seat is Buffalo. The county's name comes from Lake Erie, which in turn comes from the Erie tribe of American Indians who lived south and east of the lake before 1654.Erie...

, and Rep. Tom Cole
Tom Cole
Thomas Jeffery Cole is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Minority Whip. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from 2006 to 2008, he was, during his tenure, the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the...

 (2006–2008). It is governed by an Executive Committee of 11 members, which includes the party's Leader in the House
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives
Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door caucus by secret ballot and are also known as floor leaders. The U.S. House of Representatives does not officially use the term "Minority Leader", although the media frequently does...

 ex-officio, and other members elected by the Republican Conference following a House election.

NRCC Leadership


The NRCC is governed by its chairman, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions
Pete Sessions
Peter Anderson Sessions is a politician from the state of Texas. He is a Republican, and currently represents the 32nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the current Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee-Personal:Sessions was born in Waco,...

 (TX-32), and an executive committee composed of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Chairman is elected by the House Republican Conference after each Congressional election. Republican Leader John Boehner
John Boehner
John Andrew Boehner is the 61st and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the U.S. Representative from , serving since 1991...

 and the seven other elected leaders of the Republican Conference of the House of Representatives serve as ex-officio members of the NRCC's executive committee.

The day-to-day operations of the NRCC are overseen by Executive Director Guy Harrison, who manages a staff involved in campaign strategy development, planning and management, research, communications, fundraising, administration, and legal compliance.

In addition to Chairman Sessions, several other members of the House of Representatives aid the efforts of the Committee by overseeing various areas important to the NRCC. These members include:
  • Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02)
    Greg Walden
    Gregory Paul Walden is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party.The district covers more than two-thirds of the state . He is the son of Paul E...

     – Deputy Chairman

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) – Vice Chairman for Recruitment

  • Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)
    Lynn Westmoreland
    Lynn A. Westmoreland is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district stretches from the far southern Atlanta suburbs to the suburbs of Columbus...

     – Vice Chairman for Redistricting

  • Rep. Mary Fallin (OK-05)
    Mary Fallin
    Mary Fallin is the 27th and current Governor of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. She was a U.S. Representative for from 2007 until 2011....

     – Vice Chairman for Communications

  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)
    Jeb Hensarling
    Jeb Hensarling has been the Republican congressman representing Texas' 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2003.-Early life:...

     – Vice Chairman for Finance

  • Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-08) – Vice Chairman for Retention

  • Rep. Devin Nunes (CA-21)
    Devin Nunes
    Devin Nunes is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district, located in the San Joaquin Valley, includes all of Tulare County, as well as much of eastern Fresno County. He is also the author of the book Restoring the Republic, published by...

     – Vice Chairman for Coalitions


The NRCC is broken down into several internal divisions which have various areas of responsibility:
  • Executive

  • Treasury

  • Research

  • Political

  • Finance

  • Communications

  • eCampaign

Young Guns Program


Founded in the 2007–2008 election cycle by Congressmen Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor
Eric Ivan Cantor is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 7th congressional district, serving since 2001. A member of the Republican Party, he became House Majority Leader when the 112th Congress convened on January 3, 2011...

, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan (politician)
Paul Davis Ryan is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party and has been ranked among the party's most influential voices on economic policy....

, the Young Guns Program began as a Member driven organization of House Republicans dedicated to electing open seat and challenger candidates nationwide.

During the 2008 cycle, through a partnership of Republican volunteers, donors and 59 members of the House of Representatives, five House GOP challengers won against incumbent Democrats. Four of those were Young Guns – Tom Rooney (FL-16)
Tom Rooney (politician)
Thomas J. "Tom" Rooney is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life:...

, Bill Cassidy (LA-06)
Bill Cassidy
William "Bill" Cassidy is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education and career:...

, Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)
Lynn Jenkins
Lynn Jenkins is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. She is a member of the Republican Party. As of the 112th Congress, she is the senior member of Kansas' House delegation...

, and Pete Olson (TX-22)
Pete Olson
Peter Graham "Pete" Olson is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes much of southeastern Houston, as well as most of the city's southern suburbs such as Pearland, Sugar Land, and Pasadena.-Early life, education, and military...

.

Under the leadership of Chairman Sessions, the NRCC adopted the Young Guns program as the candidate recruitment and training program for House Republicans and it is designed to assist Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives build a foundation for victory.

This program is open to all Republican candidates – regardless of a primary or convention situation in their districts – with the ultimate goal of ensuring whoever the Republican nominee is, they are able to build the strongest campaign possible. Those enrolled work with NRCC staff to meet rigorous benchmarks designed to improve their campaign structure, fundraising, communications and online strategy.

There are three levels of the Young Guns program – “On the Radar”, “Contender”, and “Young Gun”. In 2010, 92 campaigns were granted "Young Gun" status.

Incumbent Retention


As Republicans work to expand the numbers of seats they hold in the House of Representatives, the NRCC created its “Patriot Program” to aid incumbents in their re-election efforts. This program serves as a gauge by which potentially targeted incumbents commit themselves to meet rigorous goals in attempts to strengthen their campaigns and work towards victory. These "Patriots" work with the NRCC to develop aggressive goals, and plans to meet such goals for fundraising, coalitions outreach, grassroots development, eCampaign operations, volunteer recruitment, and a number of additional aspects of their re-election campaigns. They have the full support and participation of the NRCC and Republican House Leadership.

There are currently 26 enrolled incumbents in the NRCC’s “Patriot Program”

Fundraising


In 2000 and 2002, one-third of the Committee's $210.8 million raised was in soft money donations. As Congress considered prohibiting such donations, the Committee stepped up its efforts, holding record-breaking events featuring President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

.http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/20/politics/20CAMP.html?ex=1148184000&en=e3e10651fe0a22a3&ei=5070.

Especially after the ban, the NRCC's fundraising sources and techniques have been criticized. For the 2004 election cycle, its top three donors included two Indian tribal clients of Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff is an American former lobbyist and businessman. Convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy, he was at the heart of an extensive corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine...

. Others include gambling interests (also related to Abramoff).http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_recips_detail.asp?type=R&Name=National+Republican+Congressional+Cmte

On September 21, 2006 Chairman Tom Reynolds met with lobbyists in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to warn them to contribute only to Republicans and not to challengers from the Democratic Party because their donations would be tracked and they would lose favors among the Republican members of Congress. Similar activities of the K Street Project
K Street Project
The K Street Project is an effort by the Republican Party to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions, and to reward loyal GOP lobbyists with access to influential officials. It was launched in 1995 by Republican strategist Grover Norquist and then-House majority...

 occurred when Davis was head of the NRCC; the organization was fined by the Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

 for transferring funds between PACs for the same candidates in violation of contribution limits.

The NRCC has also offered awards such as "Physician of the Year", "Businessman of the Year", "Columnist of the Year" and "Congressional Order of Merit" to thousands of individuals each year.

In comparison to other groups, a larger number of donors to the NRCC do not declare an occupation or employer, making connections difficult; this may be due to the nature of its donor pool, which consists of more individuals than groups, according to the Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

.

Automated phone calls


In 2006, just days before the November 7 midterm Congressional elections, there were numerous reports of a series of automated phone calls ("robocalls") being authorized by the NRCC, with the apparent intention to confuse and annoy the supporters of Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives. The automated call would typically begin by saying, "Hello, I'm calling with information about ___" and naming the Democratic candidate. If the recipient hung up, the call would be repeated, often several times, thus leading voters to believe incorrectly that the Democratic campaign was harassing them. The NRCC used the tactic in at least 53 competitive House races.

In New Hampshire, the state attorney general's office requested that the NRCC end the robocalls, but many individuals in the state continued to report receiving them. New Hampshire News Article The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body. They play a critical role in recruiting candidates, raising funds, and organizing races in districts that are expected to yield...

 sent the NRCC a cease-and-desist
Cease and desist
A cease and desist is an order or request to halt an activity and not to take it up again later or else face legal action. The recipient of the cease-and-desist may be an individual or an organization....

 letter. The DCCC letter cited the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 (FCC) regulation requiring that a prerecorded telephone call must identify the responsible entity at the beginning of the message, and must include the entity's telephone number. Because the NRCC's calls did not name the NRCC at the beginning and did not provide a contact phone number, the DCCC charged the NRCC with "a pattern of willful noncompliance with FCC requirements". http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/NRCC%20ceasedesist.pdf

Allegations of embezzlement


On March 13, 2008 the NRCC stated that its former treasurer
Treasurer
A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury of an organization. The adjective for a treasurer is normally "tresorial". The adjective "treasurial" normally means pertaining to a treasury, rather than the treasurer.-Government:...

, Christopher J. Ward
Christopher J. Ward
Christopher J. Ward is a former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee , and several other Republican campaigns. He was accused of embezzling $724,000 from the NRCC since his appointment in 2003, according to statements from the organization. The theft was investigated by...

, had apparently transferred "several hundred thousand dollars" in NRCC funds to "his personal and business bank accounts". An estimated $724,000 in losses were embezzled from the NRCC by Ward between 2001 and 2007. Ward has served as treasurer for 83 Republican committees and has done work for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
Swift Vets and POWs for Truth
Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, formerly known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth , was a political group of United States Swift boat veterans and former prisoners of war of the Vietnam War, formed during the 2004 presidential election campaign for the purpose of opposing John Kerry's candidacy...

.

On June 6, 2008 the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

, in filing a civil forfeiture proceeding against Ward's house, alleged that Ward "made over $500,000 in unauthorized withdrawals" and that he used the money to make his mortgage
Mortgage loan
A mortgage loan is a loan secured by real property through the use of a mortgage note which evidences the existence of the loan and the encumbrance of that realty through the granting of a mortgage which secures the loan...

 payments and for home renovation.

The Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

 (FEC) conducted a probe into disclosure reports submitted by the NRCC during Ward's tenure as treasurer. Guy Harrison, the executive director of NRCC, agreed to pay a $10,000 civil fine and signed a conciliation agreement with the FEC on June 10, 2010.

2008 Congressional Elections


In 2008 the NRCC concentrated on trying to help incumbent Republicans win re-election. Even so, the committee had to make "triage
Triage
Triage or ) is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately. The term comes from the French verb trier, meaning to separate,...

"-type decisions about allocating its funds. In October 2008, it canceled several hundred thousand dollars worth of television advertising time slated for the re-election campaigns of Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann
Michele Marie Bachmann is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing , a post she has held since 2007. The district includes several of the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, such as Woodbury, and Blaine as well as Stillwater and St. Cloud.She is currently a...

, Marilyn Musgrave
Marilyn Musgrave
Marilyn Neoma Musgrave , American politician, is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives who served from 2003 to 2009, representing the 4th District of Colorado....

, and Tom Feeney
Tom Feeney
Thomas Charles "Tom" Feeney III, usually known as Tom Feeney , is an American politician from the state of Florida. He represented . He was defeated in the 2008 election by Democrat Suzanne Kosmas.-Early life:...

, having concluded that they could not win. The decision drew criticism from the conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 Family Research Council
Family Research Council
The Family Research Council is a conservative or right-wing Christian group and lobbying organization formed in the United States in 1981 by James Dobson. It was fully incorporated in 1983...

, which stated, "It appears that the NRCC is abandoning social conservative candidates and the issues for which they stand…."

2010 Congressional Elections


In 2010, Republican candidates won a historic amount of seats in the House of Representatives after completing a "rout" of Democrats. Rep. Sessions and the NRCC staff received praise for harnessing voter sentiment and contributing to Republican gains.

The NRCC raised and spent tens of millions of dollars on Independent Expenditure advertising. Republicans won in 52 of the 66 seats where the NRCC made those expenditures.

The NRCC made some of its biggest gains in New York, where two incumbents won reelection and at least five seats (as of November 16, 2010) flipped from being held by Democrats to being held by Republicans. In Pennsylvania, the Committee retained seven incumbents and flipped five seats from being held by Democrats to being held by Republicans. The Committee made gains across the midwest, where it won control of both North and South Dakota, and made sizeable gains in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

The Committee targeted numerous veteran Democrats who held important posts in their party’s leadership. The NRCC worked to help GOP candidates defeat Committee Chairmen John Spratt (Budget), Ike Skelton
Ike Skelton
Isaac Newton "Ike" Skelton IV is the former U.S. Representative for . During his tenure, he has served as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a member for the Democratic Party...

 (Armed Services), and James Oberstar (Transportation and Infrastructure). In each of these cases, Republicans prevailed over the Democrats.

See also

  • National Republican Senatorial Committee
    National Republican Senatorial Committee
    The National Republican Senatorial Committee is the Republican Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Republicans to that body. The NRSC was founded in 1916 as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee...

  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body. They play a critical role in recruiting candidates, raising funds, and organizing races in districts that are expected to yield...


External links