The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not usually considered a big fundraising perch — the richest chairmanships tend to be at the top of committees such as Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Financial Services, which have jurisdiction over issues like spending, the tax code, and banking regulations.
So it’s something of a surprise that last year, as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa raised more money — over $2.1 million — than any other committee chairman with the exception of Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, who maintains a robust fundraising operation from his days as the party’s vice-presidential nominee.
Ryan, who raised more than $3.6 million last year, was head and shoulders above the rest of the Republican committee chairmen in fundraising. Closely trailing Issa were Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling and Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp, both of whom raised over $2 million in 2013.
Issa, the seven-term California congressman, has used his chairmanship, and the investigative and subpoena powers that accompany it, to become one of the most high-profile Obama-administration critics in Congress, and his fundraising numbers in part reflect that success. Since he became chairman in 2010, Issa has pounded away on the administration on issues from the Fast and Furious scandal to the Benghazi attacks and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Those stories have stoked anger in the Republican base, gotten plenty of attention on the Fox News Channel, and created some headaches for the Obama administration.
Next week, Issa will be in New Hampshire, keynoting the Concord Republican City and Merrimack County committees’ annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday and attending the New Hampshire State House’s Committee to Elect House Republicans breakfast on Tuesday.