The Washington Times - April 14, 2008, 03:08PM

Staff from the Democrats’ House campaign arm touted the $20 million it raised during the first quarter of 2008 to help incumbents and challengers this election cycle. donkey22.gif

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said today it has $44.3 million in cash to spend and has paid off all its debts, releasing figures early in anticipation of the April 20th deadline to file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission.

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These news figures are an improvement over the 2006 election cycle, when the committee by this time two years ago had raised $14.8 million, had $23 million in cash on hand and had $1.1 million in debt.

“The American people are energized and inspired by the strong candidates for change we’ve recruited across the country,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, chairman of the DCCC, who has conceded that the committee competes for funds with presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

House Republicans are lagging in their fundraising and did not respond to a request for early figures. Reports thus far indicate the National Republican Congressional Committee has raised nearly $58 million, spent $53.4 million and had $5.1 million in cash on hand.